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Recommended History and Sociology

Crossing over the Line : Legislating Morality and the Mann Act (The Chicago Series in Sexuality, History, and Society)----$24.95 ( discount!)
Booknews, Inc. , August 1, 1995
Until 1986 any man who traveled with a woman other than his wife across the state lines of America could be found guilty of a federal felony under the notorious Mann Act of 1910. Spawned by "white slave trade" hysteria, the Act started as a weapon against forced prostitution. But the Supreme Court soon extended its coverage to include any man who intended to commit an "immoral act" with a woman who had crossed state lines. Authorities enforced the law selectively, and it engendered a thriving blackmail trade. This history of the Act's bizarre career is also a cautionary tale about the folly of legislating morality. With b&w photos. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Unsubmissive Women : Chinese Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco ----$26.95 ( discount!)
Very informative account of San Francisco History re: prostitution. This book makes a unique contribution to documentation of prostitution and Chinese immigration in the 19th century. This highly readable work discusses the adverse conditions for women in the brothels as well as social/legislative response to the brothels and red light districts.
Booknews, Inc. , December 1, 1994 Tong (US history, U. of Toledo) explores the lives of Chinese prostitutes in the Gold Rush West. From 1849 to 1882, the year of the Chinese Exclusion Act, federal, state, and local governments pushed Chinese prostitutes to the fringes of society. Tong uses census schedules, records of missionary organizations, government documents, and narratives by the women themselves to demonstrate that the Chinese public women adapted to their new environment. Includes b&w photos and census tables. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Prostitution and Victorian Society by Judith R. Walkowitz ----$19.95 ( discount!)

This is the history book that influenced early prostitutes' rights advocates. Walkowitz class analysis is strong, as one of the first writers about prostitution to recognize the class based prejudice inherent in Victorian reform, in progressive era politics, and ultimately incorporated into contemporary feminist anti-prostitution politics. This history and analysis still holds up, and is quite readable. Buy it!

Women and Prostitution : A Social History (New Concepts in Human Sexuality) by Bonnie Bullough (Photographer), Vern L. Bullough ----$18.36 ( discount!)

This is the text of an excellent illustrated version no longer in print. Women and Prostitution : A Social History is very thorough, well-documented, flamboyant, sometimes romanticized and not sociological or psychological. Well-written, with a scant political agenda, this book is entertaining as informative.

Moral Dilemmas of Feminism : Prostitution, Adultery, and Abortion (Thinking Gender) by Laurie Shrage ---- $22.99<( discount!)

This collection is important as a guideline for feminists interested in 'early' attempts to link various issues of women's control over the body. Although the work is not necessarily informed by a thorough view of prostitutes' position (or conditions) Shrage's philosophical analysis is honest, not necessarily 'politically correct' and establishes interesting links between feminist positions and camps.

The Lost Sisterhood : Prostitution in America, 1900-1918 ----$15.95 ( discount!)
Rosen portrays prostitution in the Western Frontier as a sisterhood, positing that prostitution had a history that included female solidarity among other positive attributes. At the same time, Rosen chronicles the abuses suffered by prostitutes, at the hands of misguided legislatures as well as well-meaning female reformers. One of the first and only histories documenting early 20th century relationships between prostitutes and 'good women.'

The Traffic in Women and Other Essays on Feminism by Emma Goldman ----$6.60 ( discount!)
The foremother of sex worker rights advocates, Goldman, who had tried (but failed) to engage in prostitution, is one of the first modern feminists to recognize prostitutes as individuals with (potential) rights. Although prostitution-related material in this collection is sparse, and Goldman's analysis was cursory, the seeds of prostitutes' rights are planted and collection as a whole is inspiring.

Uneasy Virtue : The Politics of Prostitution and the American Reform Tradition by Barbara Meil Hobson ----$17.95 ( discount!)
Uneasy Virtue is a prostitution history most informed by feminist values and perspectives. In the later edition the author explains that she finds herself between two camps, and that those in 'both camps' criticize her. In fact, the book itself is not pathologizing, and is a strong statement for support of the rights of prostitutes, as well as a readable and well-documented history. This book is most highly recommended for women's studies and other students who want an overview of a crucial time in the development of our contemporary perspectives on prostitution.

Click here for: Reviews #1: Sex Worker Rights: History, Politics and Sociology
Click here for: Reviews#3: Sexual Evolutionaries: Annie Sprinkle, Carol Queen; Webmistress: Carol Leigh
Click Here to Continue: More recommendations

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