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.
Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
Author: Erik Larson
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.
Based on the Book by Erik Larson
Author: Worth Books
Publisher: Open Road Media
Category: True Crime
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
Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
Publisher: Instaread Summaries
Category: True Crime
#1 New York Times Bestseller From the bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history. It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Broadway Books
It is the year of our lord, 1893. The crackle of electricity's first sparks, the mechanical whine of Ferris's wheel, the tinkling of crystal from the majestic city atop the hill--the sounds of a new era pervade the air as the century's last World's Fair commences in Chicago. But darkness lurks beneath the metropolis so austere it has been dubbed the White City. Strikes loom on the horizon, racism runs rampant, and a murderer unlike any America has ever seen before is on the loose, terrorizing the city. His crimes are so brutal, newspapers have christened him the Husker. Hiding behind the cloak of a city in chaos, he taunts his pursuers, littering the grounds of the fair with the corpses of children as he slips through the shadows. Dr. Elizabeth Handley, the first forensic psychologist of her kind, has been called in to capture the killer, but when the son of prominent architect William Rockland goes missing, the case takes on an entirely new urgency. In this city of bombastic politics and cutthroat egos, everyone has his own agenda, but time is running out. As she races to save the boy, Dr. Handley fights to maintain her sanity as the line between captor and quarry blurs, and violence casts its spell. From the depths of the seediest brothels to the pristine enclaves of the elite, The White City is a strange, beguiling first novel by Alec Michod, a thriller that masterfully blends fact and fiction. An exhilarating voyeur's glimpse at Chicago in all its glory, it also probes the dark side that was never far from its core.
A Novel of Murder at the Chicago World's Fair
Author: Alec Michod
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Death in the City of Light is 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. The main suspect was Dr. Marcel Petiot, 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. Who was being slaughtered, and why? Was Petiot a sexual sadist, as the press suggested, killing for thrills? Was he allied with the Gestapo, or, on the contrary, the French Resistance? Or did he work for no one other than himself? Trying to solve the many mysteries of the case, Massu would unravel a plot of unspeakable deviousness. When Petiot was finally arrested, the French police hoped for answers. But the trial soon 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. His attorney, René Floriot, a rising star in the world of criminal defense, also effectively, if aggressively, countered the charges. 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. From the Hardcover edition.
The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris
Author: David King
Publisher: Broadway Books
In The Assassin’s Accomplice, historian Kate Clifford Larson tells the gripping story of Mary Surratt, a little-known participant in the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln, and the first woman ever to be executed by the federal government of the United States. Surratt, a Confederate sympathizer, ran the boarding house in Washington where the conspirators-including her rebel son, John Surratt-met to plan the assassination. When a military tribunal convicted her for her crimes and sentenced her to death, five of the nine commissioners petitioned President Andrew Johnson to show mercy on Surratt because of her sex and age. Unmoved, Johnson refused-Surratt, he said, "kept the nest that hatched the egg.” Set against the backdrop of the Civil War, The Assassin’s Accomplice tells the intricate story of the Lincoln conspiracy through the eyes of its only female participant. Based on long-lost interviews, confessions, and court testimony, the text explores how Mary’s actions defied nineteenth-century norms of femininity, piety, and motherhood, leaving her vulnerable to deadly punishment historically reserved for men. A riveting narrative account of sex, espionage, and murder cloaked in the enchantments of Southern womanhood, The Assassin’s Accomplice offers a fresh perspective on America’s most famous murder.
Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln
Author: Kate Clifford Larson,Kate Larson
Publisher: Basic Books
Philip Carlo's The Ice Man spent over six weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Top Mob Hitman. Devoted Family Man. Doting Father. For thirty years, Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski led a shocking double life, becoming the most notorious professional assassin in American history while happily hosting neighborhood barbecues in suburban New Jersey. Richard Kuklinski was Sammy the Bull Gravano's partner in the killing of Paul Castellano, then head of the Gambino crime family, at Sparks Steakhouse. Mob boss John Gotti hired him to torture and kill the neighbor who accidentally ran over his child. For an additional price, Kuklinski would make his victims suffer; he conducted this sadistic business with coldhearted intensity and shocking efficiency, never disappointing his customers. By his own estimate, he killed over two hundred men, taking enormous pride in his variety and ferocity of technique. This trail of murder lasted over thirty years and took Kuklinski all over America and to the far corners of the earth, Brazil, Africa, and Europe. Along the way, he married, had three children, and put them through Catholic school. His daughter's medical condition meant regular stays in children's hospitals, where Kuklinski was remembered, not as a gangster, but as an affectionate father, extremely kind to children. Each Christmas found the Kuklinski home festooned in colorful lights; each summer was a succession of block parties. His family never suspected a thing. Richard Kuklinski is now the subject of the major motion picture titled "The Iceman"(2013), starring James Franco, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and Chris Evans.
Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer
Author: Philip Carlo
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Category: True Crime
America's first and most notorious serial killer and his diabolical killing spree during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. 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. 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.
The True History of the White City Devil
Author: Adam Selzer
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Category: True Crime
Berlin,1933. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered academic from Chicago, has to his own and everyone else's surprise, become America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany, in a year that proves to be a turning point in history. Dodd and his family, notably his vivacious daughter, Martha, observe at first-hand the many changes - some subtle, some disturbing, and some horrifically violent - that signal Hitler's consolidation of power. Dodd has little choice but to associate with key figures in the Nazi party, his increasingly concerned cables make little impact on an indifferent U.S. State Department, while Martha is drawn to the Nazis and their vision of a 'New Germany' and has a succession of affairs with senior party players, including first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as the year darkens, Dodd and his daughter find their lives transformed and any last illusion they might have about Hitler are shattered by the violence of the 'Night of the Long Knives' in the summer of 1934 that established him as supreme dictator. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the times, and with brilliant portraits of Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and Himmler amongst others, Erik Larson's new book sheds unique light on events as they unfold, resulting in an unforgettable, addictively readable work of narrative history.
Love and Terror in Hitler's Berlin
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Random House
The remarkable true story of the uncompromising and relentless detective who investigated one of America's first serial killers, the man known as the 'Devil in the White City,' H. H. Holmes, and others like him. This extraordinary historical biography provides a chronological account of Frank Geyer’s life and features murder cases that made national headlines and the history of one of America's largest police departments, complete with 95 rare illustrations and photos! “History like never before!” Who was the world’s famous detective who outsmarted criminals from the Gilded Age and whose wife and daughter never died in a fire, like scholars claimed? Featuring: Geyer's incredible investigation of H. H. Holmes, death of Benjamin Pitezel, the horrific discovery of the missing Pitezel children, Holmes' trial, and a 'Devil in Him' chapter Mary Hannah Tabbs and the gruesome torso murder Modern Borgia killer, Sarah Jane Whiteling, the first woman hung in Philadelphia White Chapel Row Mrs. Annie Gaskin and the killer cat Top secret search in Rio de Janeiro Fake highwaymen murder for insurance, and plot to kill Detective Geyer Law enforcement and Philadelphia history Reuben Geyer in the Civil War, President Franklin Pierce, and Franks' hometown Truth about Geyer's wife and daughter with Sources, List of Illustrations and Credits, Bibliography, Notes, and Index 95 rare historical illustrations and photos, restored
The Real Story of Frank Geyer
Author: JD Crighton
Publisher: RW Publishing House
Category: Social Science
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.
A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Author: Erik Larson
In North America's first major conflict, known today as the French and Indian War, France and England-both in alliance with Native American tribes-fought each other in a series of bloody battles and terrifying raids. No confrontation was more brutal and notorious than the massacre of the British garrison of Fort William Henry--an incident memorably depicted in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. That atrocity stoked calls for revenge, and the tough young Major Robert Rogers and his "Rangers" were ordered north into enemy territory to take it. On the morning of October 4, 1759, they surprised the Abenaki Indian village of St. Francis, slaughtering its sleeping inhabitants without mercy. When the raiders returned to safety, they were hailed as heroes by the colonists, and their leader was immortalized as "the brave Major Rogers." But the Abenakis remembered Rogers differently: To them he was Wobomagonda--"White Devil."
A True Story of War, Savagery, and Vengeance in Colonial America
Author: Stephen Brumwell
Publisher: Da Capo Press