History Press, 2020
Texas Guinan was the queen of New York’s speakeasies in the Roaring Twenties. Her clubs were backed by leading gangsters and welcomed some of the city’s biggest sharks and swankest swells. Movie stars, flappers, madams, musicians and more flocked to midtown’s Wet Zone, Greenwich Village and Harlem for inebriated entertainment. Patrons threw cultural norms aside as free-flowing hooch lubricated the jazz joints, sex circuses and drag balls that fueled the era’s insurgent spirit. At the center of the party was Texas with her trademark catchphrases and guarantee to have a good time. Author David Rosen recounts Texas’s adventurous life alongside tales of Gotham’s nightlife when abstinence was the law of the land and breaking the law an all-American indulgence.