Upstairs Girls: Prostitution in the American West

Front Cover
Farcountry Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 219 pages
16 Reviews
Prostitutes make up one of the most engaging chapters in the story of the American West. Upstairs Girls opens a window on the lives of these women for hire--why they turned to prostitution, who they worked for, and what their lives were like. Author and historian Michael Rutter offers a thorough history of prostitution in the West, with chapters on notorious madams, the hierarchy of prostitution, from parlor girls to streetwalkers, and occupational hazards such as disease and addiction. Rutter also unveils the brutal Chinese sex trade, which was little more than slavery, with women being shipped across the Pacific and bought and sold like material goods. The engaging and carefully researched background history leads up to the often heart-breaking and sometimes humorous profiles of the individual madams and prostitutes, from the famous Calamity Jane to the less-known Rosa May, from ruthless madam Ah Toy to mother of civil rights Mary Ellen Pleasant. Great photographs and illustrations!
  

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Review: Upstairs Girls: Prostitution in the American West

User Review  - Sophia - Goodreads

A good introduction into the world of prostitution during the gold rush, with explanations of high end brothels to the lower "crib houses." My favourite part was the series of profiles of individual ... Read full review

Review: Upstairs Girls: Prostitution in the American West

User Review  - Debbie - Goodreads

A really good read on how a lot of the women became prostitutes after being widowed or just life circumstances. It was not an easy life for them and they were shunned for doing what they had to do to survive. A lot of the died from sickness and suicide. Read full review

Contents

THE BAWDY WOMEN OF THE WEST
1
The Chinese Sex Trade
41
The Madams
52
Occupational Hazards
59
THE OTHER WESTERN WOMEN
78
PROFILES ON PROSTITUTES
105
Julia Bulette
111
Laura Bullion
120
Mattie Silks
134
Annie Rogers
144
Calamity Jane
158
Poker Alice
169
Pearl Starr
175
Chicago Joe Hensley
182
A Working Girl Until the End
193
References
209

Ah
127

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About the author (2005)

 Michael Rutter has authored or co-authored nearly 40 books and 600 articles for magazines and newspapers. He was awarded the Ben Franklin Award for Outdoor Writing and the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association Award. Michael teaches advanced writing at Brigham Young University. He is also a Christa McAuliffe Fellow.