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Monday, January 30, 2012

Industrialization, the Chicago World's Fair, and Podcasts

Last week in class, we discussed the Gilded Age and industrialization in America.  During this time, the Columbian Exhibition (Chicago World's Fair of 1893) served as a showcase for the wonders of American industry.  It was truly a testament to our developing modern nation, as we discussed in class.

However, there is an interesting side story to the Fair.  I mentioned briefly, in one of the classes, a book on the subject that I thought was really enjoyable: The Devil in the White City

In this book, author, Erik Larson explores the tremendous undertaking of the Chicago World's Fair.  Additionally, he studies a parallel story, how America's first serial killer was preying on victims throughout the period leading up to, and during the Fair.  The book is fascinating, and does an excellent job of recounting the micro-history of these two concurrent events.

Imagine my surprise when, this past week, I found that one of my favorite podcasts was discussing this very topic in the week we were discussing it in class.  Stuff you Missed in History takes a closer look at all things historical.  In a two-part podcast on January 23 and 25, the hosts explore all things related to Dr. H. H. Holmes, who was the devil, who's criminal activity is set within the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair in Larson's book.

Listen to both parts for a fascinating look at this eerie individual:
Stuff you Missed in History: HH Holmes Podcast, Part 1
Stuff you Missed in History: HH Holmes Podcast, part 2

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