Ida B. Wells

Ida B. WellsIn Death at the Fair, Ida B. Wells is distributing her pamphlet THE REASON WHY THE COLORED AMERICAN IS NOT IN THE WORLD’S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION: THE AFRO-AMERICAN’S CONTRIBUTION TO COLUMBIAN LITERATURE   See a preview of this books on Google Book Search at:,M1

If you want to read some of the other publications that Ida B. Wells published, a few have been put online at Gutenberg:

Also at Internet Archive:

If you want to learn more about this great American woman, by all means read her autobiography CRUSADE FOR JUSTICE

And a biography was published just last year by Paula Giddings a professor at Smith College.  It is called Ida: A Sword Among Lions



Take a tour of the White City

There are a number of interesting websites about the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.  But one of the most fun is the UCLA project that provides an online simulation.  Try it and you can actually take a tour through the very places Emily Cabot and her friends walk through at the Fair!

Another fun site was developed by the ECUIP project, a joint project between the University of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools.  In includes an interactive map:

There is also a lecture by Professor Neil Harris of University of Chicago, but it is limited to Chicago Public Schools and UChicago:

Neil Harris, a Professor of History at the University of Chicago lectures on the history, politics, and architecture of the Columbian Exposition. Listen to his lecture or read through the transcript. NOTE: This resource is only accessible by CPS or UofC networked computers

Check it out!

And another great sites with wonderful pictures if hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology at:

And there’s another online tour, published in 1996 at:

The front page explains:

This hypertextual thesis explores the Exposition through a virtual tour, investigates visitors’ reactions to the Fair, and analyzes the social, polictical, and cultural legacies of the World’s Columbian Exposition.

Check it out!!!

Kirkus Discoveries Review

Kirkus Discoveries has published the following review:

A compelling tale of the Chicago World’s Fair, complete with history, mystery and a likable heroine.

Against the backdrop of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, McNamara deftly weaves themes of Southern honor, Northern political graft, post-Civil War abolitionist concerns, nascent women’s suffrage and tangled familial relationships.  Emily Cabot, a graduate student of solciology at the University of Chicago, and her Boston-based family visit the Fair accompanied by her professor, Dr. Chapman.  A chance meeting with Emily’s classmate Clara, and her family and friends from Kentucky, reveals Dr. Chapman’s past romantic involvement with a Mrs. Larrimer, now the wife of a powerful Southern cotton dealer.  When Mr. Larrimer is killed, all evidence points to Dr. Chapman–or does it?  Emily’s conviction in his innocence leads to detective work ranging from high tea in frills to finagling audiences with members of the powerful Chicago political machine and finally to donning boy’s clothing and spying on a covert gambling session on the Midway.  In addition to solid pacing and engaging storytelling, teh polot incorporates historical figures like Frederick Douglass, Mayor Carter Harrison and Eugene Prendergast, nicely balancing historical exposition with narrative drive.  Racial relations under Reconstruction come alive as Emily discovers the secret in Larrimer’s past and requests the help of Ida B. Wells and her editor husband F.L. Barnett.  Emily’s own precarious position as a female graduate student involved in a scandal results in an examination of social mores and gender double standards…With and eye to her readership, McNamara includes a historical epilogue, bibliography and reding group discussion questions, as well as the first ten pages of the next Emily Cabot book DEATH AT HULL HOUSE

An energetic story of politics, racism and murder set against the whilr of the White City

Publisher’s Weekly Review

DEATH AT THE FAIR was submitted to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in Fall of 2007.  As a semi-finalist, a Publisher’s Weekly reviewer provided a review:

As in THE DEVIL INTHE WHITE CITY, this yarn takes place in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair, and like in that nonfiction bestseller, murder intrudes on the city’s cultural uplift with surprising consequences. Emily Cabot, one of the first female graduate students at the University of Chicago, invites her mother and brother to join her in the city to attend the fair along with her teacher Dr. Stephen Chapman.  At the fair, Chapman turnspale as a ghost when he tuns into a woman who turns out to be an old flame. When her hustand is killed, and Chapman is found by the body, it is up to Emily and a rotating cast of advisors-some recognizable from your history texts, some not–to free him. The novel is well-written and without major flaws ..

The positive review was one of the reasons I went ahead to do the BookSurge publication of the book.  Especially since I have two more sequels in draft!!