The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
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'An irresistible page-turner that reads like the most compelling, sleep defying fiction' TIME OUT One was an architect. The other a serial killer. This is the incredible story of these two men and their realization of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, and its amazing 'White City'; one of the wonders of the world. The architect was Daniel H. Burnham, the driving force behind the White City, the massive, visionary landscape of white buildings set in a wonderland of canals and gardens. The killer was H. H. Holmes, a handsome doctor with striking blue eyes. He used the attraction of the great fair - and his own devilish charms - to lure scores of young women to their deaths. While Burnham overcame politics, infighting, personality clashes and Chicago's infamous weather to transform the swamps of Jackson Park into the greatest show on Earth, Holmes built his own edifice just west of the fairground. He called it the World's Fair Hotel. In reality it was a torture palace, a gas chamber, a crematorium. These two disparate but driven men are brought to life in this mesmerizing, murderous tale of the legendary Fair that transformed America and set it on course for the twentieth century . . .
An account of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 relates the stories of two men who shaped the history of the event--architect Daniel H. Burnham, who coordinated its construction, and serial killer Herman Mudgett.
An account of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 relates the stories of two men who shaped the history of the event--architect Daniel H. Burnham, who coordinated its construction, and serial killer Herman Mudgett.
A true story of love, murder, and the end of the world’s “great hush.” In Thunderstruck, Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories of two men—Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication—whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time. Set in Edwardian London and on the stormy coasts of Cornwall, Cape Cod, and Nova Scotia, Thunderstruck evokes the dynamism of those years when great shipping companies competed to build the biggest, fastest ocean liners; scientific advances dazzled the public with visions of a world transformed; and the rich outdid one another with ostentatious displays of wealth. Against this background, Marconi races against incredible odds and relentless skepticism to perfect his invention: the wireless, a prime catalyst for the emergence of the world we know today. Meanwhile, Crippen, “the kindest of men,” nearly commits the perfect murder. With his unparalleled narrative skills, Erik Larson guides us through a relentlessly suspenseful chase over the waters of the North Atlantic. Along the way, he tells of a sad and tragic love affair that was described on the front pages of newspapers around the world, a chief inspector who found himself strangely sympathetic to the killer and his lover, and a driven and compelling inventor who transformed the way we communicate.
Warning This is an independent addition to The Devil in the White City, meant to enhance your experience of the original book. If you have not yet bought the original copy, make sure to purchase it before buying this unofficial summary from aBookaDay. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson, published in 2002, is an historical work centered on the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. More specifically, the focus of the author centers on two men and their accomplishments during this pivotal moment in the history of America's new modern era. The first is the chief architect of the fair, Daniel Burnham, whose vision shaped the fair, and by extension, the architectural aesthetic of modern cities more broadly speaking for the generations that followed. His story is one of the power of creation fueled by persistence in the face of obstacles. The second focus of the book is America's first known serial killer, Dr. H. H. Holmes, whose acts of evil during the time of the World's Fair would manifest a destructive power that lived in the shadows of metropolitan anonymity. This review offers a detailed summary of the main themes raised in this historical work. In general the summary follows the structure of the book, which is largely presented in chronological order, alternating between the main historical figures central to the story. However, parts of the summary are presented in an order that deviates slightly from that of the book in order to preserve the continuity and readability of the facts presented. The summary is followed by an analysis. Larson is both an accomplished journalist and historical novelist. He has written four New York Times bestselling books. He has written for The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine as a staff journalist. He has been a contributing author to The Atlantic, Harper's, and The New Yorker. His academic background includes a bachelors in Russian history, language and culture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters in journalism from Columbia University. Available on PC, Mac, smart phone, tablet or Kindle device. (c) 2015 All Rights Reserved
Summary and Analysis of The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of The Devil in the White City tells you what you need to know—before or after you read Erik Larsons book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This short summary and analysis of The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson includes: Historical context Chapter-by-chapter summaries Detailed timeline of key events Important quotes Fascinating trivia Glossary of terms Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work About The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson: The Devil in the White City is the electrifying true story of the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago—and the serial killer who used it as his hunting ground. Meticulously researched and brimming with fascinating historical details, Larson’s bestselling book is a powerful amalgam of historical narrative and a true crime thriller. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of nonfiction.
From Chicago historian Adam Selzer, expert on all of the Windy City’s quirks and oddities, comes a compelling heavily researched anthology of the stories behind its most fascinating unsolved mysteries. To create this unique volume, Selzer has collected forty unsolved mysteries from the 1800s to modern day. He has poured through all newspaper, magazine, and book references to them, and consulted expert historians. Topics covered include who really started the great Chicago fire, who was the first “automobile murderer,” and even if there was actually a vampire slaying at Rose Hill cemetery. The result is both a colorful read to get lost in, a window to a world of curiosity and wonder, as well as a volume that separates fact from fiction—true crime from urban legend. Complementing the gripping stories Selzer presents are original images of the crime and its suspects as developed by its original investigators. Readers will marvel at how each character and crime were presented, and happily journey with Selzer as he presents all facts and theories presented at the time of the “crime” and uses modern hindsight to assemble the pieces.
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson | Summary & Analysis Preview: The Devil in the White City is a book by Erik Larson that takes a close look at The World’s Columbian Exposition, the world’s fair that Chicago hosted in 1893, held in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of America. The fair was tainted by deaths, a serial killer, and an assassination. The lead architect, Daniel Burnham, and the serial killer, Henry Howard Holmes, play pivotal roles in the events that unfolded before, during, and after the fair. In the late nineteenth century, Chicago was a raw city, growing fast, but it was horribly polluted. Fourteen million animals went to their deaths each year in the stockyards. Garbage and manure piled up and typhus, cholera, and other diseases raged. Train and carriage accidents killed several people daily. Fires were even more deadly. The city tallied 800 murders in just the first half of one year… PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary & Analysis of The Devil in the White City • Summary of book • Introduction to the Important People in the book • Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style
128 rare, vintage photographs: 200 buildings — 79 of foreign governments, 38 of U.S. states — the original ferris wheel, first midway, Edison's kinetoscope, much more. 128 black-and-white photographs. Captions. Map. Index.
At the close of the nineteenth century, Chicago offered the world a glimpse of humanity's most breathtaking possibilities and its most jaw-dropping horrors. Even as the White City emerged from the ashes of the Great Fire, serial killers like H.H. Holmes stalked the sparkling new boulevards and tragic accidents plagued the factories, slums and railroads that powered the churn of industrial innovation. Demons, mesmerists and birds of ill omen preyed on the unwary from the shadows. Ship captains spoke to the dead, while undertakers discovered reanimated corpses no longer requiring services. From posh mansions built on massacre grounds to the drowned quarries of a forest preserve, Ursula Bielski follows the dark undercurrents beneath the electric lights of the World's Fair.
The author of American Nations returns to the historical study of a fractured America by examining how a myth of national unity was created and fought over in the nineteenth century--a myth that continues to affect us today Union tells the story of the struggle to create a national myth for the United States, one that could hold its rival regional cultures together and forge, for the first time, an American nationhood. It tells the dramatic tale of how the story of our national origins, identity, and purpose was intentionally created and fought over in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. On one hand, a small group of individuals--historians, political leaders, and novelists--fashioned and promoted a history that attempted to transcend and erase the fundamental differences and profound tensions between the nation's regional cultures. America had a God-given mission to lead humanity toward freedom, equality, and self-government and was held together by fealty to these ideals. This emerging nationalist story was immediately and powerfully contested by another set of intellectuals and firebrands who argued that the United States was instead an ethno-state, the homeland of the allegedly superior "Anglo-Saxon" race, upon whom Divine and Darwinian favor shined. Their vision helped create a new federation--the Confederacy--prompting the bloody Civil War. While defeated on the battlefield, their vision later managed to win the war of ideas, capturing the White House in the early twentieth century, and achieving the first consensus, pan-regional vision of U.S. nationhood in the years before the outbreak of the first World War. This narrower, more exclusive vision of America would be overthrown in mid-century, but it was never fully vanquished. Woodard tells the story of the genesis and epic confrontations between these visions of our nation's path and purpose through the lives of the key figures who created them, a cast of characters whose personal quirks and virtues, gifts and demons shaped the destiny of millions.
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf. That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not. In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced. In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss. Meticulously researched and vividly written, Isaac's Storm is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last great uncontrollable force. As such, Isaac's Storm carries a warning for our time. From the Hardcover edition.
This extraordinary work of investigative journalism takes readers inside America’s isolated Mormon Fundamentalist communities, where some 40,000 people still practice polygamy. Defying both civil authorities and the Mormon establishment in Salt Lake City, the renegade leaders of these Taliban-like theocracies are zealots who answer only to God. At the core of Krakauer’s book are brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a commandment from God to kill a blameless woman and her baby girl. Beginning with a meticulously researched account of this appalling double murder, Krakauer constructs a multi-layered, bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, polygamy, savage violence, and unyielding faith. Along the way he uncovers a shadowy offshoot of America’s fastest growing religion, and raises provocative questions about the nature of religious belief.
The gripping, true story of a brutal serial killer who unleashed his own reign of terror in Nazi-Occupied Paris. As decapitated heads and dismembered body parts surfaced in the Seine, Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu, head of the Brigade Criminelle, was tasked with tracking down the elusive murderer in a twilight world of Gestapo, gangsters, resistance fighters, pimps, prostitutes, spies, and other shadowy figures of the Parisian underworld. But while trying to solve the many mysteries of the case, Massu would unravel a plot of unspeakable deviousness. The main suspect, Dr. Marcel Petiot, was a handsome, charming physician with remarkable charisma. He was the “People’s Doctor,” known for his many acts of kindness and generosity, not least in providing free medical care for the poor. Petiot, however, would soon be charged with twenty-seven murders, though authorities suspected the total was considerably higher, perhaps even as many as 150. Petiot's trial quickly became a circus. Attempting to try all twenty-seven cases at once, the prosecution stumbled in its marathon cross-examinations, and Petiot, enjoying the spotlight, responded with astonishing ease. Soon, despite a team of prosecuting attorneys, dozens of witnesses, and over one ton of evidence, Petiot’s brilliance and wit threatened to win the day. Drawing extensively on many new sources, including the massive, classified French police file on Dr. Petiot, Death in the City of Light is a brilliant evocation of Nazi-Occupied Paris and a harrowing exploration of murder, betrayal, and evil of staggering proportions.
Follows the journey of a handgun, from its manufacture through its violent odyssey into the hands of a disturbed teenager who uses it to kill a teacher, and raises painful questions about the legal and cultural realities of firearms. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
LONGLISTED for the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD A “blistering yet tender” (Publishers Weekly) memoir that chronicles one chef’s journey from foraging on her family’s Midwestern farm to running her own Michelin-starred restaurant and finding her place in the world. Iliana Regan grew up the youngest of four headstrong girls on a small farm in Indiana. While gathering raspberries as a toddler, Regan learned to only pick the ripe fruit. In the nearby fields, the orange flutes of chanterelle mushrooms beckoned her while they eluded others. Regan’s profound connection with food and the earth began in childhood, but connecting with people was more difficult. She grew up gay in an intolerant community, was an alcoholic before she turned twenty, and struggled to find her voice as a woman working in an industry dominated by men. But food helped her navigate the world around her—learning to cook in her childhood home, getting her first restaurant job at age fifteen, teaching herself cutting-edge cuisine while hosting an underground supper club, and working her way from front-of-house staff to running her own kitchen. Regan’s culinary talent is based on instinct, memory, and an almost otherworldly connection to ingredients, and her writing comes from the same place. Raw, filled with startling imagery and told with uncommon emotional power, Burn the Place takes us from Regan’s childhood farmhouse kitchen to the country’s most elite restaurants in a galvanizing tale that is entirely original, and unforgettable.
This long-awaited successor to Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Prize provides an essential, overarching narrative of global energy, the principal engine of geopolitical and economic change A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Prize. In The Quest, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change and conflict, in a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. The Quest tells the inside stories, tackles the tough questions, and reveals surprising insights about coal, electricity, and natural gas. He explains how climate change became a great issue and leads readers through the rebirth of renewable energies, energy independence, and the return of the electric car. Epic in scope and never more timely, The Quest vividly reveals the decisions, technologies, and individuals that are shaping our future.
A dynamic investigation of processes of cultural reproduction – remaking and remodelling – which considers a wide range of film adaptations, remakes and fan productions from various industrial, textual and critical perspectives.
America's first and most notorious serial killer and his diabolical killing spree during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, now updated with a new afterword discussing Holmes' exhumation on American Ripper. H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil is the first truly comprehensive book examining the life and career of a murderer who has become one of America’s great supervillains. It reveals not only the true story but how the legend evolved, taking advantage of hundreds of primary sources that have never been examined before, including legal documents, letters, articles, and records that have been buried in archives for more than a century. Though Holmes has become just as famous now as he was in 1895, a deep analysis of contemporary materials makes very clear how much of the story as we know came from reporters who were nowhere near the action, a dangerously unqualified new police chief, and, not least, lies invented by Holmes himself. Selzer has unearthed tons of stunning new data about Holmes, weaving together turn-of-the-century America, the killer’s background, and the wild cast of characters who circulated in and about the famous “castle” building. This book will be the first truly accurate account of what really happened in Holmes’s castle of horror, and now includes an afterword detailing the author's participation in Holmes' exhumation on the TV series, American Ripper. Exhaustively researched and painstakingly brought to life, H. H. Holmes will be an invaluable companion to the upcoming Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio movie about Holmes’s murder spree based on Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.
Maiden Tribute: A Life of W. T. Stead This journalist who communicated with his Senior Partner instantaneously, whose ecumenical advance beyond his epoch still startles his readers, throughout his life retained his Whitmanesque individualism and rugged speech. W. T. Stead frequently scoffed at the Anglican Sunday prayers that instructed God how to direct the affairs of the world. If God did not comply, it was not for want of pious instruction. Anglicans were wanting, and most of his late Victorian-Edwardian world was Anglican. W. T. Stead (1849-1912) was a Nonconforrmist with and without the capital n. Had he been born with a wooden spoon in his mouth, it meant only that God needed his help to make the world silver. He never ceased to believe the world could be made silver, for mankind in general was anonymously, even though sluggishly, contributing to the infinite ascending spiral traced by the finger of God between the universe and the ideal. Clearly, the position of women in the 1870s was far from the ideal, remote from the privileges selfishly guarded by men. Taking a cue from his mother who campaigned against the Contagious Diseases Actswhich punished women but not men for transmitting syphilishe determined to bring women nearer the honors of Mary the Mother and Mary the Magdalen, for these two women stand out against the gloom of the past radiant as the angels of God, and yet the true ideals of the womanhood of the world. Such appeared implausible. Everywhere he saw in the streets wretched ruins of humanity, women stamped and crushed into devils by society . . . . And the children nursed in debauchery, suckled in crime, predestined to a life of misery and shame! Mrs. Josephine Butler already knew that Britains leadership would not assist: in the grandest house of the kind in Paris, are to be seen portraits of all the great men who had frequented themdiplomatists, generals, and English Lords . . . . The brothel-keeper put a cross underneath the portrait at each visit, to mark the number of visits made to the house by these great men! Before he visited London, the export of English girls for State-regulated prostitution in Brussels imposed upon Stead a sense that he was destined to write an Uncle Toms Cabin on The Slavery of Europe. The burden is greater than I can bear. But if it is ultimately to be laid on my back, God will strengthen me for it. If I have to write it I shall have to plunge into the depths of the social hell, and that is impossible outside a great city. Even high-minded seekers of justice found the social hell a place they could not venture into. Initiating research for The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon, Stead took counsel with civic powers Lord Carnarvon, John Morley, Arthur Balfour, Henry Labouchere among others, and Sir Charles Russell, who declined an invitation to see for himself because as leader of the English Bar he could not play the rle of a detective in a house of ill-fame. As the shocking series of four daily exposes neared its close, why others had not done Steads work was explained by Benjamin Scott, the City Chamberlain who had prompted Stead to take up the cause: We had not the ability or the opportunity that Stead possessed, and lacked the courage. Stead had begun the Maiden Tribute with a complaint against British society, that chivalry was dead and Christianity effete. Benjamin Waugh praised him after the fact: The spirit of both survives in you to-day. Stead accomplished his goal: passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, still in force today. Why the British sent him to jail for passing the first child protection law is graced with the word technicality. Branded both a saint and a filthy ex-convict, Stead continued to use his journalistic strength to achieve justice for citizens; in the 1890s he turned to internationalism. Lobbying for arbitration for settling international disputes, he crafted a memorial calling for li