Upstairs Girls
Prostitution in the American West

by Michael Rutter

foreword by Phillip A. Snyder, PhD

published by Farcountry Press

  • Prostitutes make up one of the most engaging chapters in the story of the American West. Upstairs Girls opens a window on the lives of these women for hire.

    Historian Michael Rutter offers a thorough and fascinating history of prostitution in the West, detailing why women turned to this profession and what their lives were like. Chapters on the notorious madams, the tragic Chinese sex trade, occupational hazards, rowdy dancehall girls, and the efforts of the "Moral Purity Movement" supplement the heart-breaking and sometimes humorous profiles of some of the most infamous women in history.

232 pages, 6'' x 9'", 31 b/w photos, 8 illustrations, index, glossary, 48 softcovers per case, perfect bound

ISBN 10: 1560373571
ISBN 13: 9781560373575


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Upstairs Girls
Prostitution in the American West

"Upstairs Girls demystifies the stereotype of the “hooker with a heart of gold” so popularized by film and media in the twentieth century."
-Portneuf Library

"Michael Rutter gives an excellent history lesson of the wild west. History about some of the most notorious madams and their girls. Famous outlaws and gunslingers and the women they loved. It gives you an understanding of why and how women entered the "world's oldest profession". I felt much heartache and sadness as I read some of the stories, but there are other parts that will make you laugh. Interesting facts and fascinating stories if you like history and the wild west."

"Rutter's simple, sparse writing comes across painfully and perfectly with the message: these women lived lives of almost unbearable despair. Sometimes the message is so bleak that it's almost too hard to read. Anyone who is still clinging to the image of the prostitute from the Western Hollywood movie should read this book."
-Laurie Powers, Laurie's Wild West

Michael Rutter align= Michael Rutter has authored or co-authored nearly 40 books and 600 articles for magazines and newspapers. He was awarded the Ben Franklin Award for Outdoor Writing and the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association Award. Michael teaches advanced writing at Brigham Young University. He is also a Christa McAuliffe Fellow.

FARCOUNTRY PRESS  ·  P.O. BOX 5630  ·  HELENA, MT  ·  59604  ·  1-800-821-3874  ·  406-422-1263