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 fair that Chicago hosted in 1893 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 19th 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....
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