Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age

Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age

by

advance-review-copy, , written-by-women, audio, true-crime, new-york-city, nonfiction, 2021-reads, deliberately-unfinished, history, Biography, Nonfiction, History, Biography Memoir, Audiobook, Historical, New York, North American Hi..., Womens, Autobiography

The compulsively readable and sometimes jaw-dropping story of the life of a notorious madam who played hostess to every gangster, politician, writer, sports star and Cafe Society swell worth knowing, and who as much as any single figure helped make the twenties roar--from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Most Famous Man in America.

"Applegate's tour de force about Jazz Age icon Polly Adler will seize you by the lapels, buy you a drink, and keep you reading until the very last page.... A treat for fiction and nonfiction fans alike. --Abbott Kahler, New York Times bestselling author (as Karen Abbott) of The Ghosts of Eden Park

Simply put: Everybody came to Polly's. Pearl Polly Adler (1900-1962) was a diminutive dynamo whose Manhattan brothels in the Roaring Twenties became places not just for men to have the company of women but were key gathering places where the culturati and celebrity elite mingled with high society and with violent figures of the underworld--and had a good time doing it.

As a Jewish immigrant from eastern Europe, Polly Adler's life is a classic American story of success and assimilation that starts like a novel by Henry Roth and then turns into a glittering real-life tale straight out of F. Scott Fitzgerald. She declared her ambition to be the best goddam madam in all America and succeeded wildly. Debby Applegate uses Polly's story as the key to unpacking just what made the 1920s the appallingly corrupt yet glamorous and transformational era that it was and how the collision between high and low is the unique ingredient that fuels American culture.

Title:Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age
ISBN:9780385534758
Format Type:

    Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age Reviews

  • Linden

    Debby Applegate, a Pulitzer Prize winning historian, has written a fascinating biography of Polly Adler, a jazz-age madam, referred to as the "Jewish Jezebel." At age 13, she came to the United States...

  • Erin

    Giveaway Win!I love the 1920's it was a time of great change in American society. Women started to express their independence, youth culture became a thing, sexual taboos were being explored and disma...

  • Jennie Damron

    My husband bought this for me for Christmas. I am so glad he did. Polly Adler's life was fascinating. Her connections to the mob and Crime syndicate made for excellent reading. I was surprised how tho...

  • Camelia Rose

    In her latest book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Debby Applegate did her best to reveal the history and the full character of Polly Adler, the famous/infamous madam (a.k.a. brothel owne...

  • Valerity (Val)

    A fascinating and thorough look at the life of Polly Adler. She came to America alone from a shtetl in Janow, Russia. After being kicked out of two different relatives homes, she moved to New York Cit...

  • Natalie

    This is so much more than a biography of the infamous MADAM, Polly Adler, it is a social history of the era in which she reigned. The author has blended in so many of the important political, sports f...

  • Benjamin

    If you're someone who's thinking, "Eh, I don't know if I want to spend 600 pages reading about a madam," fear not, Debby Applegate's "Madam" is a sleek, Duesenberg-like vehicle to examine prominent ga...

  • Linda

    This book about a major madam of the early 20th century is far from titillating. I did feel exhausted with the merry-go-round of pay-offs and address changes necessarily for Polly Adler to stay on top...

  • Sharyl

    This is not only a fascinating biography of Polly Adler, but also an insightful history of the Jazz Age. Polly Adler was once one of many young immigrants to come from Eastern Europe, but the path her...

  • Leslie Zemeckis

    Excellent bio of madam Polly Adler - an in-depth look at jazz age prostitution in NYC ...