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Circus in the Brain

Julia Laite: Sex and War, 10 February 2022

Dear John: Love and Loyalty in Wartime America 
by Susan L. Carruthers.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £25, 978 1 108 83077 5
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... The​ American Red Cross Club, on the corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Denman Street, opened its doors on 11 November 1942. Its windows were festooned with the Stars and Stripes to welcome newly arrived American GIs to London. The building was soon known as Rainbow Corner, a place where US troops gambled, drank and flirted with young women. It didn’t take long for the club to get a reputation as the centre of American decadence in London, where the ‘overpaid and oversexed’ soldier could find a good time before he was shipped out to the front ...

Tricked Out as a Virgin

Bee Wilson: Respectable Enough, 4 November 2021

The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice 
by Julia Laite.
Profile, 410 pp., £16.99, April, 978 1 78816 442 9
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... slavery: her testimony survives because two of the people who exploited her were tried in court. Julia Laite recounts the case in chapters named after the main protagonists: ‘The Disappearing Girl’, ‘The Detective’, ‘The Newsman’, ‘The Rescuer’ and so on. She has meticulously pieced together every possible surviving detail about ...

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