Prostitution thrived in pioneer Colorado. Mining was the principal occupation and men outnumbered women more than twenty to one. Jan MacKell provides a detailed overview of the business between 1860 and 1930, focusing her research on the mining towns of Cripple Creek, Salida, Colorado City, and similar boomtown communities. She used census data, Sanborn maps, city directories, property records, marriage records, and court records to document and trace the movements of the women over the course of their careers, uncovering work histories, medical problems, and numerous relocations from town to town. She traces many to their graves, through years filled with abuse, disease, narcotics, and violence.
The book is published by University of New Mexico Press.
"Delicacy, humor, respect, and compassion are among the merits of this book. Although other authors have flirted with Colorado's commercial sex, Jan MacKell provides a detailed overview. She has been researching these elusive women for the last fifteen years. Such persistence allows her to offer rich detail on shady ladies who rarely used their real names or even stuck with the same professional name for long." (Thomas J. Noel, from the Introduction)
"The topic is interesting, the author knowledgeable, the presentation nonjudgmental...All sorts of interesting facts pop up in this work." (USA Today)
"Now this is a book you can read in one sitting. Not that it is less than scholarly; it is comprehensive, extensively researched, well organized, well written, but most of all it is readable. In fact, it is compelling. Brothels, Bordellos, & Bad Girls is a fascinating book because it puts a human face on prostitution." (Roundup Magazine)
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Informational, but lacks structure
- brian draus