Impuls desde Niedererbach, Alemania
Murder. Majesty. Mayhem. This book has it all! This nonfiction account of the Chicago's Worlds Fair of 1893 was a delightful read. The central characters in this tale are Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the construction of the fair, and H. H. Holmes, a serial killer who used the popularity of the fair for his own nefarious ends. Burnham's work at overcoming the insurmountable obstacles before completing this awe inspiring project is interwoven with chapters relating to the maniacal Holmes, whose person will keep you both captivated and haunted. Lots of interesting factoids about Chicago in this book. The "Ferris Wheel" was designed by an engineer named Ferris, specifically for the Fair, as a way to show up Mr. Eiffel and France's Eiffel Tower. Cracker Jacks was introduced at the Worlds Fair as were zippers, Juicy Fruit gum, and Shredded Wheat. The "Windy" City is not named for the chillygusts coming off Lake Michigan, but rather for the hot air billowing from politicans in the city. Ahhh....some things never change! However labor organizations were able to use the Fair as a means to begin identifying what the work week should look like. And, Larson succeeds in affirming the historical and cultural importance of the 1893 exhibition, which, he says, may have helped to spawn such other wonders as Disneyland and Oz. This non-fiction thriller reads like fiction, but don't be sucked in, Larson entertains as he educates. This account of the Gilded Age should be absorbed by everyone, but especially by my daughter (the landscape architect) and my future son-in-law (the architect).