The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik LarsonErik Larsons gifts as a storyteller are magnificently displayed in this rich narrative of the master builder, the killer, and the great fair that obsessed them both.
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized Americas rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fairs brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the countrys most important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington, D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in a malign parody of the White City, built his Worlds Fair Hotel just west of the fairgrounds—a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber, and 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame tremendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan, and others to transform swampy Jackson Park into the White City, while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own satanic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of that dream city by the lake.
The Devil in the White City draws the reader into a time of magic and majesty, made all the more appealing by a supporting cast of real-life characters, including Buffalo Bill, Theodore Dreiser, Susan B. Anthony, Thomas Edison, Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and others. In this book the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before.
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Reading about B. Burnham's construction of the fair during a time of deadly diseases, grotesque environmental conditions and bank failures was certainly enlightening, but most intriguing for me was erection of the monstrous "Ferris" Wheel with enclosed glassed-in seats. And this dude Dr. Picture a young, handsome prosperous man with mesmerizing big blue eyes who is in fact an evil psychopath, sniveling cheat and conniving polygamist. This devil incarnate killed on a whim and caused turmoil in so many families with his slithering knack of preying on the weak and vulnerable; and while I wasn't too surprised at the naivety of the young women, the men falling for his sleazy schemes really shocked me. This work of non-fiction is jam-packed with interesting facts, faces and descriptive details that are too numerous to even begin to mention here, but now, whenever I see Cracker Jack, I'll sure remember where it originated.
According to the maps, we would have been located between Old Vienna and the Moorish Palace. I was too busy at the time — working full-time and getting ready to move across the country pretty much up until the days before orientation started — and skipped it. The architect, Daniel Hudson Burnham, was already well known, but his construction of the White City would cement his reputation. Around the time the month construction is going on, a handsome doctor going by the name of H. Over the course of the 6 months it was open, it logged It was a spectacle of innovation and culture, including marvels such as the first voice recording and the introduction of the first Ferris Wheel. Entire villages of people from locales in Egypt and Algeria were brought in to showcase other cultures.
The Devil in the White City is a literary nonfiction novel that spans the years surrounding the building of the Chicago World's Fair, also known as The World's Columbian Exposition, which was designed to commemorate the landing of Columbus in America. This nonlinear novel is divided into four parts with the first three parts of the novel primarily taking place in Chicago between the years However, Part IV of the novel takes the reader to Philadelphia circa In the process, he creates two separate, yet connected plot lines and attempts to fill in some of the gaps left by history. The other plot line focuses on character H.
The book is based on real characters and events. It tells the story of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago from the viewpoint of the designers, including Daniel Burnham , and also tells the story of H. Holmes , a criminal figure in that same time often credited as the first modern serial killer. Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the film rights in The book is set in Chicago in , interweaving the true tales of Daniel H. Burnham , the architect behind the World's Fair , and Dr.