Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City
Erik Larson
Call Number
HV6248.M8 L37 2003
2nd Floor Social Sciences
Highly Recommended
Book Review
This is an absolutely fascinating non-fiction book that reads like a novel. Larsen tells the story of Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century focusing on two men: Daniel Burnham, architect and urban designer who was the driving force and behind the Chicago World’s Fair, and Dr. H.H. Holmes, a.k.a. Herman Mudgett, a depraved and charismatic serial killer who may have had as many as 200 victims. Both men were architects, in a sense, of historic places with overlapping history. Burnham was the most influential individual behind the creation of the “White City” for the Chicago World’s Fair, which captivated the entire country and broke records for the most highly attended recreational event in history at the time. Holmes built his “castle” which housed many guests who came to Chicago to visit the World’s Fair and were never heard from again. For the librarians out there, there’s a great epilogue and long list of resources in which Larson discusses his sources for constructing his story, including scenes where no one survived to give an eye-witness account.
Submitted By
Taylor Greene
Department or Major
Leatherby Libraries

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