An exciting non-fiction work covering two parallel events in Chicago of the 1890s. The first one is the Chicago world exhibition of 1893, a event that united the country and changed the Americans' perspective of their nation. The second one involved H. H. Holmes, one of America's most notorious serial killers. The fact that these stories sound so different is what makes this book stand out. Larson ties them together in an allegory of what was the best and worst of a nation struggling through a recession (sound familiar?)and trying to find an identity (also sound familiar?). An excellent book that takes on a second life when you think of the problems the United States is now having as we continue into the 21st century.