Sydney Biddle Barrows


It seems to be important that this drug bust, which tied relatively well-to-do Columbia students to low-class drug pushers, is labeled as an “Ivy League” bust.

If it is “high class,” does this make it less bad to violate the law? Somehow I think of a woman I recently met, Sydney Biddle Barrows, the Mayflower Madam. I received her recent book on marketing as a gift, and whatever her past, she seems to be an astute businesswoman.  In person she was exceedingly pleasant, and dressed a LOT more conservatively than would expect of a woman of her reputation. The idea is that people made a great deal of her past because she was a woman who made a profession of managing prostitutes, but did it with both business sense and panache. In America, where we often proudly say we are a classless society — but we aren’t.  It seems to me that there are few places where we value “class” more than breaking the law.
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