The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large

Note: This is an expanded version of my talk to the Washington Biography Group on Monday at Washington International School. By David H. Rothman Founder of TeleRead, Co-Founder of LibraryCity, and author of The Solomon Scandals SEEING the windmill blades turn—in Al Gore’s multimedia book Are we wasting our time talking about books and the […]

The chilling aftermath of the 1973 Skyline high-rise collapse in Falls Church, VA—where 14 workers died and 34 suffered injuries—shows up in the video below. In The Solomon Scandals, I fictionalized the tragedy. As recalled by one firefighter quoted by Channel 9’s Dave Statter, rescue crews would “stand along the top of the collapsed debris and […]

The Solomon Scandals is a novel, but two actual events helped inspire it and are the topics of online gossip today—several decades later: —The deadly Skyline Towers building collapse in Northern Virginia, where 14 workers died and dozens were injured. —The late Sen. Abraham Ribicoff’s secret and illegal investment in a CIA-occuped building in Arlington. […]

Apple has sold some three million iPads in 80 days, according to the latest news from the company. Many thousands of books are now available for the iPad and the newer iPhones and iPod Touches through Apple’s iBooks app—including The Solomon Scandals. But three million is still a small number compared to the total U.S. […]

I know—I’m a few days behind on the Helen Thomas controversy—but I wanted to reflect. This was a little close to home. I respected the maverick side of Ms. Thomas even if her White House questions were often activist rather than journalistic. At one point I  tried to see if she’d read Scandals for a […]

Four Kent State University students—including Bill Schroeder, an ROTC cadet whose funeral I wrote up for the Lorain Journal—died 40 years ago on May 4, 1970. Nine suffered bullet wounds. The Ohio National Guard fired 67 rounds at a crowd no closer than 150 feet. Shot in the back while lying on the grass, young […]

In Australia… an unhappy meeting of truck and car Landra Reid, wife of of Harry Reid, U.S. Senate majority leader, suffered a broken neck and back when a truck rear-ended the Honda minivan she was in. Good luck to Mrs. Reid in her recovery. The Reid incident wasn’t scary just because it happened on I-95 […]

You regulars already know my complaint. For whatever the reason, Washington philanthropist Robert H. Smith enjoyed a free ride from the Post’s usually stellar obituary desk as well as from the editorial page. His family’s paid obit at Legacy.com was rather redundant. Ahead I’ll compare the Smith encomia with a more balanced write-up of Indianapolis […]

Robert H. Smith, philanthropist and Crystal City developer, gets another paean today from the Washington Post—this time an editorial, which follows an obituary of more than 1,100 words. The Post appropriately notes Smith’s donations of “hundreds of millions of dollars to universities, the arts, historic sites and civic activities.” Given his significance, then, perhaps the […]

Update, 2:05 p.m., Dec. 31, 2009: Just-posted commentary on the Washington Post’s less-than-complete obit of Robert Smith. – D.R. Robert H. Smith, a Washington philanthropist and developer, died yesterday, and the Washington Business Journal already has run his obituary, with another coming shortly from the Washington Post. He will be most remembered for the Crystal […]

Scandals at one level is a beach read, a mix of a thriller and novel of manners. But at another, it’s about bureaucratic laxness, which can kill workers—not just drain investors’ bank accounts. The Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico makes Scandals all the more timely. Penny-pinching proved to be lethal. – D.R. […]

The Solomon Scandals, although fiction, was inspired in part by the Skyline Plaza collapse, which killed 14 workers and injured 34. Enraged by the shortcuts taken in the construction, a civil servant named Andrew Solarz wrote the poem below.  At the time Andy lived several miles from Skyline in Falls Church, Virginia, and he is […]