The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Reviewed by E. Mankowski, April 2020

The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 held in Chicago was a highlight of American ingenuity. However, behind the glamour of the fair was a grim truth of the harshness and true state of Chicago. The Devil in the White City, written by Erik Larson, juxtaposes the story of Daniel Burnham and Dr. H. H. Holmes. Burnham, the primary architect of the fair, strives to capture the glory of American architects and engineers in one extensive exposition; while Holmes, a businessman and budding serial killer, sought to exploit the attention the fair was garnering in the United States. This novel is perfect for high school readers who are interested in learning about one of the greatest moments of American history, as well as the dark truth behind the glory.