Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

‘Devil’ of a good time

Renowned author comes to campus
Erik Larson answers a question from Dr. Karl Brown

New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson discussed his novel “Devil in the White City” to students and faculty during an event put on by the UW-Whitewater Department of History, Phi Alpha Theta and Tommy G. Thompson Center Wednesday, Dec. 29 in the Young Auditorium. 

The novel follows an in-depth view into The World’s Fair Exposition hosted in Chicago, 1893. With the 130th anniversary of The World’s Fair and 20th anniversary of Larson’s novel, Phi Alpha Theta and advisor Karl Brown collaborated with the Tommy G. Thompson Center to bring Larson to Whitewater.

“It’s a chance to get more people out there thinking about history,” said Brown. “We had people from the university, the community and students of all ages. I like to see things like these happen; seeing history claw its way out of the classroom and into the public eye.”

Events like these can be supported through grants from the Tommy G. Thompson Center. The center aims to support events to gain the attention of larger audiences within the Universities of Wisconsin and foster public discourse on public leadership. 

Associate Director Ruth Brash shared that it is the “breath of other people” that allows major events and figures, like Larson, to come to universities within the system.

“There was a time in American history where we as Americans felt we could absolutely do anything we set our minds to,” said Larson. “Absolutely anyone could hold that sense of boundless ambition.”

The boundless ambition between the Tommy G. Thompson Center and Phi Alpha Theta members and advisors allowed for over 200 students and staff to ask Larson questions on his most famous novel as well as his role in the nonfiction genre.

“There is a lot the center has to offer, especially for events like these that bring the community together,” said Brown.

More information about the Thompson Center and Erik Larson’s work can be found on their websites.

Erik Larson reads one of his favorite passages from his book The Devil in the White City.
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Katie Popp, Campus News Editor

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