Sin in the Second City

And speaking of sex, the Freakonomics blog has interviewed author Karen Abbott. Abbott’s new book Sin in the Second City is about Chicago’s Everleigh sisters and their famous turn-of-the century brothel. The interview focuses on the economics of the enterprise:

Q: Did police officers, government officials, and prosecutors receive a discount for services?

A: Minna set a policy of entertaining newspaper reporters and state legislators for free. It worked: the Everleigh sisters got press when they wanted it, and stayed out of the headlines when they didn’t. They also made necessary donations to a roster of politicians in Springfield in attempts to help thwart harmful state legislation, including one check for $3,000.

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