The author reviews Bousbir: Prostitution in Colonial Morocco: Ethnography of a Red-light District, a study conducted between 1949 and 1950 in Casablanca by two French medical doctors, Jean Mathieu and P.H. Maury. The review underscores the contemporaneity and authentic originality of a study that continues to rank as a landmark sociological investigation in the Maghreb decades after it was written. The context for the Bousbir study was the rapid social changes which colonialism introduced to Morocco. This book review presents the doctors’ inquiry into the city and outlines the definition of prostitution that informs their ethnographic and sociological investigation. The reviewer detects an overlap of "colonial science" with Orientalist perspectives and a "humanist dimension" to the investigators’ approach: in solidarity with their subjects, and against all forms of servitude – notwithstanding the distance which is often a question of debate in anthropology-related scholarship. Finally, a glimpse of contemporary Bousbir is offered: a place that acts as the living memory of colonialism, retelling the misery and exploitation prompted by the urges of "white desire".