The FBI and the Madams
J. Edgar Hoover saw the political effectiveness of cracking down on elite brothel madams—but not their clients—in New York City.
What Reformers Learned When They Visited 1830s Brothels
Middle class members of the New York Female Moral Reform Society visited brothels to save women from sin. What they actually encountered surprised them.
“White Slavery” and the Policing of Domestic Life
In the early 20th century, journalistic exposés, novels, and vice commission reports trumpeted fears about "white slavery" sweeping the country.
What Red Light Ladies Reveal About the American West
Prostitution and sex work are useful metric for historians seeking insight into the American West.
The Battle to Keep Prostitution Legal in 1950s Japan
Revisiting the struggle to keep prostitution from being criminalized in 1950s Japan.