The Devil in the White City Quotes

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The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
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The Devil in the White City Quotes (showing 1-30 of 87)
“It was so easy to disappear, so easy to deny knowledge, so very easy in the smoke and din to mask that something dark had taken root. This was Chicago, on the eve of the greatest fair in history.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“I must confess a shameful secret: I love Chicago best in the cold.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“I was born with the devil in me,' [Holmes] wrote. 'I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood.

Daniel H. Burnham”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
“His weakness was his belief that evil had boundaries.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Beneath the gore and smoke and loam, this book is about the evanescence of life, and why some men choose to fill their brief allotment of time engaging the impossible, others in the manufacture of sorrow. In the end it is a story of the ineluctable conflict between good and evil, daylight and darkness, the White City and the Black.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“The intermittent depression that had shadowed him throughout his adult life was about to envelop him once again. ”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“. . . why some men choose to fill their brief allotment of time engaging the impossible, others in the manufacture of sorrow.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Great murderers, like great men in other walks of activity, have blue eyes.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Place has always been important to me, and one thing today's Chicago exudes, as it did in 1893, is a sense of place. I fell in love with the city, the people I encountered, and above all the lake and its moods, which shift so readily from season to season, day to day, even hour to hour.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Beneath the stars the lake lay dark and sombre," Stead wrote, "but on its shores gleamed and glowed in golden radiance the ivory city, beautiful as a poet's dream, silent as a city of the dead.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Chicago has disappointed her enemies and astonished the world”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“No one could bear the idea of the White City lying empty and desolate. A Cosmopolitan writer said, "Better to have it vanish suddenly, in a blaze of glory, than fall into gradual disrepair and dilapidation. There is no more melancholy spectacle than a festal hall, the morning after the banquet, when the guests have departed and the lights are extinguished.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“I will be on the look out for you, my dear girl," he wrote. "You must expect to give yourself up when you come." For this buttoned-up age, for Burnham, it was a letter that could have steamed itself open.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Holmes was charming and gracious, but something about him made Belknap uneasy. He could not have defined it. Indeed, for the next several decades alienists and their successors would find themselves hard-pressed to describe with any precision what it was about men like Holmes that could cause them to seem warm and ingratiating but also telegraph the vague sense that some important element of humanness was missing.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“For now, the tension was subtle, a vibration, like the inaudible cry of overstressed steel.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“I find it all infinitely sad, but at the same time so entrancing, that I often feel as if it would be the part of wisdom to fly at once to the woods or mountains where one can always find peace. - Dora Root in a letter to Daniel Burnham”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“No one cared what St. Louis thought, although the city got a wink for pluck.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Beside his own person and his own interests, nothing is sacred to the psychopath.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Leaves hung in the stillness like hands of the newly dead.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“To produce the kind of landscape effects Olmsted strived to create required not months but years, even decades. "I have all my life been considering distant effects and always sacrificing immediate success and applause to that of the future," he wrote. "In laying out Central Park we determined to think of no result to be realized in less than forty years.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“Snow fell. Carolers moved among the mansions of Prairie Avenue, pausing now and then to enter the fine houses for hot mulled cider and cocoa. The air was scented with woodsmoke and roasting duck. In Graceland Cemetery, to the north, young couples raced their sleighs over the snow-heaped undulations, pulling their blankets especially tight as they passed the dark and dour tombs of Chicago’s richest and most powerful men, the tombs’ bleakness made all the more profound by their juxtaposition against the night-blued snow […]
Outside the snow muffled the concussion of passing horses. Trains bearing fangs of ice tore through the crossing at Wallace.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
tags: 147
“But one thing was quite clear...." [Sol Bloom, chief of the Midway] wrote. "[B]eing broke didn't disturb me in the least. I had started with nothing, and if I now found myself with nothing, I was at least even. Actually, I was much better than even: I had had a wonderful time.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“At one point during the Holmes investigation Chicago's chief of police told a Tribune reporter he'd just as soon have a squad of reporters under his command as detectives.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“One portion of the lakefront, named Burnham Park in his honor, contains Soldier Field and the Field Museum, which he designed.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“The club also had the custom of sending robed members to kidnap visiting celebrities and steal them away in a black coach with covered windows, all without saying a word.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“As the light began to fade, the architects lit the library’s gas jets, which hissed like mildly perturbed cats.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“At present," he said, "I am responsible for conveying my associates to a place called Chicago. I understand it is somewhere in the hinterland.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“He signed the letter: George Washington Gale Ferris.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
“I have all my life been considering distant effects and always sacrificing immediate success and applause to that of the future,” he wrote. “In laying out Central Park we determined to think of no result to be realized in less than forty years.”
Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

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