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Commentary Of The Devil In The White City By Erik Larson

783 words - 4 pages

The Devil in the White City is a literary nonfiction novel that is centered around the World’s Fair in Chicago. The subtitle of The Devil in the White City is “Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America.” As Erik Larson describes so vividly, the fair did just that. From the way electricity is distributed through homes, to the length of our working hours or days in a week, to cultural icons, and amusement parks. There is a brief but fascinating link between the Fair and other inventions today. The White City, as some would call it, was described as the scenery of the gleaming white colored buildings that soared into the sky and its majestic beauty. The book has the inspiration to combine two distantly related late-19th century stories into a narrative that is anything but bizarre.
One story describes the planning of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair that had been proposed to celebrate the four hundred years since Columbus landed in America. The idea didn’t get much attention until a year earlier, when Paris held a world fair and unveiled the Eiffel Tower. Not to be outdone, America decided now it was a matter of who would hold a fair that would put France’s fair to shame. There was a dilemma of where the fair would be built New York or Chicago, but votes were tallied up and the majority of the vote was Chicago. Among the many architects in Chicago, the main job of the designing the fair was given to Daniel H. Burnham. He needed a companion to help him with the design and other features of the fair, so he chose John Root, a very close friend of his and former associate. Because of the amount of time it took to decide where to build the fair, The White City was believed to be impossible to construct because of time constraints and also to the adverse soil conditions present through the Chicago area. During the time of building the fair and constructing the buildings most of the architects face many problems of disease, deaths of many workers, weather conditions, and fire hazards in the period of time they were given. They kept going. A financial crisis erupted, banks failed, and deadly storms passed over. The dedication day was approaching and it seemed they...

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