The Red City By Erik Larson

1714 Words7 Pages
Social History is a vast term that very closely ties into the concept of history as a whole. The use of social history is necessary when it comes to fully understanding the past. Many nonfiction books and movies carry the essence of social history to give the viewers a deeper perspective of major issues. Social history is the use of personal stories that shed light on dominant issues by building public awareness. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson uses personal stories to help highlight the major issue of the cruelty of homicide and publicizes it though the Chicago World’s Fair. In 1893, Chicago hosted the World’s Fair during which a man named H.H. Holmes became known as one of America’s first serial killers.The book contains the personal stories of both Holmes and his victims. As a child, he was brilliant and displayed an interest in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, his strengths were never recognized and he was frequently bullied. His plagued childhood could have had an influence on his violent actions in his adulthood. His childhood story was in the book to display his perspective and how a man could become a serial killer. With this perspective, the reader may develop an emotional connection to the story. One may begin to understand the life of Holmes and might realize that there are other sides to the tale. The emotional connection that social history provides the reader with can alter the reader’s impression on the issue. Mrs.
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