ECU Libraries Catalog

The underworld sewer : a prostitute reflects on life in the trade, 1871-1909 / by Josie Washburn ; introduction to the Bison books edition by Sharon E. Wood.

Author/creator Washburn, Josie, 1853-
Format Book and Print
Publication InfoLincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [1997]
Descriptionxviii, 342 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Abstract For twenty years Josie Washburn lived and worked in houses of prostitution. She spent the last twelve as the madam of a moderately fancy brothel in Lincoln, Nebraska. After retiring in 1907 and moving to Omaha, she turned to "throwing a searchlight on the underworld," including the "cribs" of Nebraska's largest city. The Underworld Sewer, based on her own experience in the profession, blazes with a kind of honesty unavailable to more conventional moral reformers. Originally published in 1909, The Underworld Sewer asks why "the social evil" is universally considered necessary or inevitable. Washburn minces no words in exposing the conditions that perpetuate prostitution: the greed and graft of landlords, pimps, alcohol vendors, dope dealers, police officers, city administrators, and politicians; the competition for circulation by sensation-seeking newspapers; the indifference or intolerance of law abiding, church-going citizens; the false modesty that prevents family discussion of venereal disease; the double standard that allows men to indulge their sexuality but punishes women who do so. This knowing social history and commentary on human nature is transfixing. Through her strong words, Josie Washburn, a shrewd businesswoman, was determined to end the social evil by giving a voice to its victims - mainly the women who sold their bodies and who had reason to hate the buyers.
General noteOriginally published: Omaha : Washburn Pub. Co., 1909.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references (p. xviii-xix).
LCCN 97018232
ISBN0803297971 (pbk. : alk. paper)
ISBN9780803297975 (pbk. : alk. paper)
Other class# U5001 T674 -1997

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Laupus Books - Stacks HQ 145 C6 W314U 1997 ✔ Available Place Hold

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