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The devil in the white city : murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America

Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, ©2003.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Case studies
Named Person: Herman W Mudgett; Daniel Hudson Burnham; Herman W Mudgett; Daniel Hudson Burnham; Herman W Mudgett
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Erik Larson
ISBN: 0609608444 9780609608449
OCLC Number: 51053561
Awards: National Book Award Finalist, Nonfiction, 2003
Description: xi, 447 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
Contents: Evils imminent --
Prologue, aboard the Olympic --
Frozen music --
An awful fight --
In the white city --
Cruelty revealed --
Epilogue, the last crossing.
Responsibility: Erik Larson.
More information:

Abstract:

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.

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WorldCat User Reviews (2)

Author sure knows how to research his material--thumbs up on this one

by vanhookc (WorldCat user published 2008-04-02) Excellent Permalink
Loved this quote by author in the book's note regarding his research for the book: "I do not employ researchers, nor did I conduct any primary research using the Internet. I need physical contact with my sources....To me every trip to a library or archive is like a small detective story....On one visit...,I...
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Work of Art

by getzenp (WorldCat user published 2009-04-08) Excellent Permalink

This novel is remarkable in that it profiles two stories in paralel happening at one place in time. First, is the incrediable story of The World's Fair held at Chicago. This portion is an inspriational tale of a city and it's finest comeing together to secure and then host the greatst World's Fair...
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