All right guys, new rules—I've decided to speed this process up by taking you two at a time.
You're familiar with the Mann Act, right? Basically, it's a law that forbids transporting any female across state lines for debauched purposes. Generally, it was applied to men who had sex with underage girls, but not always. In One by One, the hero drives a dancer named Dolly Dawn from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and has sex with her, whereupon she threatens to call police and have him prosecuted under the Mann Act if he doesn't continue to indulge and take care of her. The action revolves around his repeatedly thwarted efforts to extricate himself from her sticky web. One very interesting aspect of the book is that it's a period piece, set nineteen years before its 1951 publication date. Also, if you're looking at the cover blurb and thinking “less morals” sounds weird, you're right that it's grammatically off. Morals is a plural noun, so you'd have fewer morals, not less. We imagine the editors knew that and wrote the blurb colloquially to connect with the reading audience. It probably didn't matter, because the cover art alone pretty much sells this book. But it's uncredited, which is a shame.
I've seen the bottle and the damage done.
Above is a photo of American actress Gail Russell from today in 1957, and well, her 4th of July has taken a very bad turn—right through a plate glass window. She's in the midst of failing a field sobriety test after imbibing a few too many cocktails and crashing her convertible through the front of Jan's Restaurant in Los Angeles. You see the aftermath below. She managed to pin an unlucky janitor beneath her car, but all things considered the accident could have been much worse.
This was not the only automotive mishap Russell had. She had been arrested in 1953 for drunk driving, and had also crashed in 1955 and fled the scene. She once said of herself: “I was a sad character. I was sad because of myself. I didn’t have any self-confidence. I didn’t believe I had any talent. I didn’t know how to have fun. I was afraid. I don’t exactly know of what—of life, I guess.” If she was indeed afraid of life she conquered that fear decisively—by dying young at age thirty-six. We'll talk about her more a bit later.