Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson's spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men--the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World's Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his... read more
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s most... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of the great dynamic that characterized America’s rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair’s brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country’s 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 “World’s 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.
Erik Larson’s 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.
To find outmore about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com
“It was so easy to disappear, so easy to deny knowledge, so easy in the smoke and din to mask that something dark had taken root. This was Chicago, on the eve of the greatest fair in history.”
“'I was born with the devil in me,'" he wrote. "I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.”
“He broke prevailing rules of casual intimacy. He stood too close, stared too hard, touched too much and long and women adored him for it.”
“It was so easy to disappear, so easy to deny knowledge, so very easy in the smoke and din to mask that something dark had taken root. This was Chicago, on the eve of the greatest fair in history.”
“He is a prodigy of wickedness, a human demon, a being so unthinkable that no novelist would dare to invent such a character. The story, too, tends to illustrate the end of the century."”Chicago Times-Herald
“Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood”
“This duty is not to make a garden, or to produce garden effects, but relates to the scenery of the Exposition as a whole; first of all and most essentially the scenery, in a broad and comprehensive way...”Frederick Law Olmsted
“She was on the verge of accepting the offer when Holmes said to her, softly, "Don't be afraid of me." Which terrified her.”Mrs. Strowers, laundress to Holmes
“Everywhere one looked the boundary between the moral and the wicked seemed to be degrading.”
“Great murderers, like great men in other walks of activity, have blue eyes."”physician John L. Capen about H.H. Holmes
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.”Highlighted by 403 Kindle customers
It was this big talk, not the persistent southwesterly breeze, that had prompted New York editor Charles Anderson Dana to nickname Chicago “the Windy City.”Highlighted by 372 Kindle customers
a new beer did well, winning the exposition’s top beer award. Forever afterward, its brewer called it Pabst Blue Ribbon.Highlighted by 363 Kindle customers
The dedication had been anticipated nationwide. Francis J. Bellamy, an editor of Youth’s Companion, thought it would be a fine thing if on that day all the schoolchildren of America, in unison, offered something to their nation. He composed a pledge that the Bureau of Education mailed to virtually every school. As originally worded, it began, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands …”Highlighted by 287 Kindle customers
The ranks included a carpenter and furniture-maker named Elias Disney, who in coming years would tell many stories about the construction of this magical realm beside the lake. His son Walt would take note.Highlighted by 265 Kindle customers
Sullivan, never easy on his peers, became furious with one of the firm’s junior architects when he discovered the man had been using his free time to design houses for clients of his own. Sullivan fired him. The junior man was Frank Lloyd Wright.Highlighted by 186 Kindle customers
Once built, the Montauk was so novel, so tall, it defied description by conventional means. No one knows who coined the term, but it fit, and the Montauk became the first building to be called a skyscraper.Highlighted by 139 Kindle customers
They tasted a new snack called Cracker Jack and a new breakfast food called Shredded Wheat.Highlighted by 114 Kindle customers
Events and people captured his attention the way moving objects caught the notice of an amphibian: first a machinelike registration of proximity, next a calculation of worth, and last a decision to act or remain motionless. When he resolved at last to move to Chicago, he was still using his given name, Herman Webster Mudgett.Highlighted by 90 Kindle customers
evanescence of life, and why some men choose to fill their brief allotment of time engaging the impossible, others in the manufacture of sorrow. In the end it is a story of the ineluctableHighlighted by 89 Kindle customers
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