Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Prohibition New York City: Speakeasy Queen Texas Guinan, Blind Pigs, Drag Balls & More
David Rosen


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.

Paperback, 192pp
History Press, 2020
ISBN 9781467146418


DAVID ROSEN writes books and articles on sexuality, popular culture and media in twentieth century America. Sin, Sex & Subversion is a previous book about deviance in 1950s New York.