In The Devil in the White City, the smoke, romance, and mystery of the Gilded Age come alive as never before. 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. 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 out more about this book, go to http://www.DevilInTheWhiteCity.com.
A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America
Author: Erik Larson
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
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
By Erik Larson | Includes Analysis
Author: Instaread Summaries
Category: Biography & Autobiography
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City, 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.
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Broadway Books
One of the eminent figures of the Victorian era, Henry Cole (1808-1882) was a visionary whose pioneering ideas helped create the magnificent London museum that is now called the Victoria and Albert. With Prince Albert (consort of Queen Victoria), "Old King Cole" also helped to make London's Great Exhibition of 1851 a rousing triumph. Yet Cole's important contributions to cultural history have largely been forgotten. The Great Exhibitor is the first full-length biography of this museum pioneer who also played a pivotal role in establishing the English postal system, in expanding the railway, and in art and science education. This detailed portrait captures the personality of a man who in his own time aroused both admiration and antipathy, and restores to his proper place in history a larger-than-life Victorian phenomenon.
The Life and Work of Henry Cole
Author: Elizabeth Bonython,Anthony Burton
Publisher: Victoria & Albert Museum
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Devil in the White City, delivers a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.
Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Broadway Books
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
#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
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
If you are looking for a book to give to a teenage reader, here's the reference you've been waiting for. Until now, there's been no accepted guide to what's good, bad, or indifferent in the flood of books coming off the presses in the hot new category of young-adult publishing. If it's true that you can't judge a book by its cover, it is especially true for teen books, as publishers take aim at a new class of readers. The books land on shelves without a history, and so there is no standard by which to judge them. Anita Silvey, one of the country's leading authorities on books for young people, has interviewed teenage readers all over the country and immersed herself in young-adult books, with an emphasis on books published in the last five years. The result is this invaluable and very readable guide for parents, teachers, librarians, booksellers, reading groups, and of course teens themselves. With its extended essays describing 500 selections, parents will quickly see what their teenagers are actually reading -- and will be able to find good books to introduce them to. Teachers can spot excellent additions to summer reading lists. Booksellers can move customers from one favorite to a host of others in the same genre. Librarians can round out collections. Book groups -- for adults, teens, or both -- will have hundreds of new titles to consider. 500 Great Books for Teens is divided into twenty-one sections, including adventure and survival, politics and social history, horror, romance, war and conflict, fantasy, plays, graphic novels, poetry, memoir, and spirituality. Every section offers up classics, but the majority of titles are new. In "Beyond the 500," Silvey compiles a number of useful lists, including books organized by geographic location and historical period, as well as recommended audio books.
Author: Anita Silvey
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Category: Literary Criticism
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.
A Photographic Record
Author: Stanley Appelbaum
Publisher: Courier Corporation
A pictorial tour of Chicago's connection to classical architecture begins at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, with it's gleaming "White City" of ornate Beaux-Arts buildings to Daniel Burnham's "Plan of Chicago" which furthered classical building inChicago and throught the country.
The Legacy of the White City
Author: David Stone
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
In Thomas Ligotti's first nonfiction outing, an examination of the meaning (or meaninglessness) of life through an insightful, unsparing argument that proves the greatest horrors are not the products of our imagination but instead are found in reality. "There is a signature motif discernible in both works of philosophical pessimism and supernatural horror. It may be stated thus: Behind the scenes of life lurks something pernicious that makes a nightmare of our world." His fiction is known to be some of the most terrifying in the genre of supernatural horror, but Thomas Ligotti's first nonfiction book may be even scarier. Drawing on philosophy, literature, neuroscience, and other fields of study, Ligotti takes the penetrating lens of his imagination and turns it on his audience, causing them to grapple with the brutal reality that they are living a meaningless nightmare, and anyone who feels otherwise is simply acting out an optimistic fallacy. At once a guidebook to pessimistic thought and a relentless critique of humanity's employment of self-deception to cope with the pervasive suffering of their existence, The Conspiracy against the Human Race may just convince readers that there is more than a measure of truth in the despairing yet unexpectedly liberating negativity that is widely considered a hallmark of Ligotti's work.
A Contrivance of Horror
Author: Thomas Ligotti
Category: Literary Criticism
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
“Once you’ve become a part of this particular patch, you’ll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.” Ernest Hemingway once said of Nelson Algren’s writing that “you should not read it if you cannot take a punch.” The prose poem, Chicago: City on the Make, filled with language that swings and jabs and stuns, lives up to those words. In this sixtieth anniversary edition, Algren presents 120 years of Chicago history through the lens of its “nobodies nobody knows”: the tramps, hustlers, aging bar fighters, freed death-row inmates, and anonymous working stiffs who prowl its streets. Upon its original publication in 1951, Algren’s Chicago: City on the Make was scorned by the Chicago Chamber of Commerce and local journalists for its gritty portrayal of the city and its people, one that boldly defied City Hall’s business and tourism initiatives. Yet the book captures the essential dilemma of Chicago: the dynamic tension between the city’s breathtaking beauty and its utter brutality, its boundless human energy and its stifling greed and violence. The sixtieth anniversary edition features historic Chicago photos and annotations on everything from defunct slang to Chicagoans, famous and obscure, to what the Black Sox scandal was and why it mattered. More accessible than ever, this is, as Studs Terkel says, “the best book about Chicago.”
City on the Make: 50th Anniversary Edition, Newly Annotated
Author: Nelson Algren,David Schmittgens,Bill Savage
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
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
The Chicago World Fair was the greatest fair in American history. This is the story of the men and women whose lives it irrevocably changed and of two men in particular: an architect and a serial killer. The architect is Daniel Burnham, a man of great integrity and depth. It was his vision of the fair that attracted the best minds and talents of the day. The killer is Henry H. Holmes. Intelligent as well as handsome and charming, Holmes opened a boarding house which he advertised as 'The World's Fair Hotel' Here in the neighbourhood where he was once looked up to by all, he seduced, tortured and murdered young women, incinerating them in the furnace he had built in the basement of his hotel. Salting the narrative are the sad, charming, and funny stories of a supporting cast of other real-life characters including Buffalo Bill, Scott Joplin, Theodore Dreiser and George Ferris, the Pittsburg steel tycoon whose mammoth wheel becomes America's answer to the Eiffel Tower. The interweaving and the juxtaposition of the two men's different 'missions' - one good and one evil - provides the core to a non-fiction suspense drama of the highest order.
Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: The New York Times® Best Sellers: Books