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In the novel, The Devil in the White City, Burnham goes through many trials to bring his vision to fruition. Since the Chicago World Fair's goal was to outdo the earlier French exposition when the Eiffel Tower drew the attention of the world, Burnham was determined to make the Chicago Exposition better. He enlists the help of architect John Root as co-architect only to lose him when he dies early in the endeavor. Chicago was not an easy choice as the city was dirty, poor and with labor unrest. Burnham has to persuade the other architects such as Ferris to build his first Ferris wheel even though the obstacles are great. Burnham runs short of money continually especially when a fierce winter storm wipes out much of the progress which creates even tighter deadlines which seem impossible to meet. Crisis after crisis appears from exhibitions which don't show up to finding laborers to keep building through the labor unrest. Still, he manages to create a beautiful fair with two hundred new white buildings lit by electricity, introduce many new products like shredded wheat, cracker jacks, and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and the beautiful grounds despite the delays, the interference of the governing committee and the constant need for Burnham to encourage and demand the best of his architects.
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