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Madam Millie: Bordellos from Silver City to Ketchikan Hardcover – March 4, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Millie's is the quintessential American success story." (The Dallas Morning News)

"There aren't many subjects more titilating than good old fashioned whoring." (The Weekly Alibi, Albuquerque)

From the Inside Flap

Madam Millie contains sordid details and frank language that will make many readers blush. It is unvarnished language, as recorded directly from Millie by Max Evans over a period of almost twenty years. It presents a complete picture of the business of prostitution as it was practiced in the west from the late 1920s to the mid 1970s, told by the most successful madam in the business. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; First Edition edition (March 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826327826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826327826
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ignore the book's subtitle, cover and back cover copy. Madam Millie is not about bordellos or lurid sex detail. It's about a tough, wise, loveable woman. There are a few funny incidents -- as when a cat attacks a delicate portion of a bishop's anatomy -- but today they seem rather tame.
Millie's long life was never ordinary. Orphaned at a young age, she was saved from juvenile justice by Harry S. Truman, then a Kansas City judge. When her sister Florence was diagnosed with tuberculosis, Millie accompanied her to Deming, New Mexico, where she worked as a Harvey Girl at the train station.
Millie entered her new profession to pay her sister's medical bills. And the rest is, literally, history.
Readers will appreciate Madam Millie on two levels: as the biography of a legend and as a social history of women, work and early life in the southwest. Millie entered the business to pay medical bills for her sister. In one night, she would earn more -- and have a pleasanter life -- than she would in the other occupations open to women at the time.
Millie was first and foremost a businesswoman. She built her success not on her looks but on her charisma, executive skills and ability to read people. It was no accident that her houses attracted high-powered clients. She was their equal.
Millie managed bordellos but she also bought and sold real estate. If she had been born forty years later, she would be a player in business or politics -- a very different but equally challenging game.
Readers can debate the morality -- and inevitabilty -- of Millie's "business." Millie herself believed there would always be a need, whether legally met or not.
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By A Customer on June 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I found the story of Madam Millie very fascinating and funny at times. I've lived in Silver City for two years and its interesting to read about the town in its heyday. Especially now that I know that the post office is where her infamous whorehouse once sat.
The story is told as if Millie was still alive and Max Evans makes her real and not just some unreachable figure in Silver's past. What I enjoyed most was learning about the people who would visit her brothels and I rolled on the floor with laughter at the story of the Mormon bishop.
I recommend this book to anyone, especially if you live in or near Silver City, because most of the places she talks about still exisit and it makes you think twice about downtown Silver City.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fun read, but it has limited supporting documentation or sources. It reads more as if the author was simply recounting the stories from the main character, "Madam Millie" throughout. It was fun, but if you are looking to use it as a resource for research, you might want to critically assess it a bit more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I almost didn't read this biography/memoir of "Silver City Millie" because the historic photos illustrating it were so blah. Finally, just before donating it to the Boston Public Library I read a few pages and was enthralled enough to save it long enough for me to read. It was really well written. The pictures illustrating it were mostly taken decades after the reason for capturing them on film had passed. The photographs proved something else as well. The actual historical characters seldom look like the stereotypical Hollywood image of them. This is definitely true about this character because if you saw her in real life she was not very pretty, even considering the always changing standards of beauty. She had a grandmother's face even at age three according to the picture of her included in the book.

However, she must have had a personality that really wowed every man she met. "Her mirth was an infectious as a happy plague." She was interesting enough as a businesswoman that she had many lifelong male friends who visited her simply to talk and socialize and plan political and business deals. Everyone fell under her spell."Millie's laugh was a softly rolling symphony, almost demanding in its resonant beauty to be mirthfully joined. People simply enjoyed looking into her enigmatic eyes and hearing the laughter that gave such a pleasing promise of joy."

"It was difficult for many of the citizens of New Mexico and beyond to believe that Millie had scores of men who were just plain good friends. There were those who came to Millie's house just to visit and share confidences without any idea of going to bed with her or any of the other girls.
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Format: Hardcover
It is a daring and courageous thing for a university press to produce a book like MADAME MILLIE -- a no-holds barred story of a New Mexico bordello madame -- but any book by that true Westerner and Western writer of proven genius, Max Evans (author of THE ROUNDERS, HI-LO COUNTRY, BLUEFEATHER FELLINI) is a feather in the camp of any publisher. MADAME MILLIE is a perfect wedding of writer-publisher and the book is a masterpiece of truth-telling, told with a novelist's eye for detail and clear-headed dialogue.
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