Summary Of Larson's The Devil In The White City

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America is known for expanding, being innovative, and rising above and beyond expectations. In Larson’s The Devil in the White City, it is displayed and explained how America, Chicago specifically, became the powerhouse city of constructing/ engineering. New ideas were used to make things bigger and better; making America appear superior. Advances in technology made it much easier to build, expand, and create buildings that were unfamiliar to America. Larson uses examples that signify the importance of American superiority and modernity for the country—showing America’s significance in the world, the involvement of the government with business ventures, and overpopulation which hid many murders that were committed before, during, and after…show more content…
However, it wasn’t until the construction of the Eiffel Tower that stirred Americans. “The [Eiffel] tower not only assured the eternal fame of its designer, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, but also offered graphic proof that France had edged out the United States for dominance in the realm of iron and steel, despite the Brooklyn Bridge, the Horseshoe Curve, and other Undeniable accomplishments of American engineers.” (pg.15). Americans were baffled, how could France be ahead of the race that America started? Discussions of a fair to be built in Chicago were announced, the same men who were responsible for the rebuilding of Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871 would be on the committee for building this great fair (pg.16). This fair would be a display of modern or ancient times. Being that there was one in Paris, it was only right for America to have one, and the goal was for it to be bigger and better. Once approved by government officials and personnel on the committee, there was a decision to construct The Chicago’s World Fair; which would also be referred to as the World’s Columbian Exposition. The lead architects Daniel Burnham and John Root knew that failure wasn’t an option. They could not let the nation’s honor or reputation become tarnished (pg.33). Burnham and Root had the job of insuring the nation’s egotism and prominence by exceeding the expectations of civilians. This was an extremely hard job, for both Burnham and Root this would be their biggest challenge, yet they would excel due to their expertise and power to imagine and

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