The Devil In The White City

Front Cover
Transworld, Sep 30, 2010 - History - 496 pages
660 Reviews

The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and its amazing 'White City' was one of the wonders of the world. This is the incredible story of its realization, and of the two men whose fates it linked: one was an architect, the other a serial killer.

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 Earther, 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 toegther with a remarkable supporting cast of colourful characters, including as Buffalo Bill, George Ferris, Thomas Edison and some of the 27 million others who converged on the dazzling spectacle of the White City, 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.

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The vivid imagery and detail is eye-opening. - Goodreads
The author really did his research. - Goodreads
I only wish there had been more illustrations. - Goodreads

Review: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

User Review  - Lynn Spencer - Goodreads

This was a pretty riveting read for me. The author takes on quite a task, weaving together threads of several stories to create a picture of 1890s Chicago. I could see where some might quibble about ... Read full review

Review: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

User Review  - Kristin-Leigh - Goodreads

I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this before visiting Chicago for the first time this month. Besides some minor eye-rolling at Larson's occasional indulgence in purple prose I quite enjoyed it ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Erik Larson is a prize-winning journalist for Time Magazine and author of the bestselling Isaac's Storm. He lives in Seattle with his family.

To find out more about his latest book and the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 visit

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