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

The literary afterlife was oh so simple for Jonathan Stone, protagonist of The Solomon Scandals. While still alive in the corporeal sense, he just turned his memoirs over to the Virginia Historical Society for release back to his family a century afterwards. But what to do in the era of the Internet—not just with text […]

A sign that the U.S. economy is looking up? Twilight Times Books has ended the 99-cent sale, and the e-book edition of The Solomon Scandals is back at its former price of $2.99 on Amazon. I myself liked the 99 cents, but this is my publisher’s choice to make, and I actually can see both […]

Video by rhidoyakash California, not the Washington, D.C., area, is where  Americans go if they want to flirt with the apocalypse, at least the seismic kind. Man-made disasters here in Northern Virginia? Well, there was 9/11 at the Pentagon several miles from me—Target Zero, of course, during the Cold War. But in Alexandria, we locals […]

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Standard & Poor’s is right about the US. political process, even if the financial downgrade was crap. The process is kaput, Reason One for the budget debacle. Broken, too, are the mainstream news organizations  whose brainlessness and wimpiness helped the Tea Party outFox the somewhat less insane. Here’s my general rule about the Fourth Estate […]

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer got official thumbs-downs this week from a comstock-bullied school board in Republic, Missouri, in line with last year’s stupidity. The censors banned the books from both the curriculum and the school library. I take this rather personally. A George Washington University professor assigned The Solomon Scandals […]

Update, 7:51 a.m., July 20: The AdWords gods have sent me other notes recommending Amazon-style features but for now are letting me use the service without them. – D.R. Good news, Google fans. The AdWords gods in India were finally satisfied that I didn’t have to do a mini-Amazon act and include certain store-style features […]

Update, 5:53 p.m.: I’ve just heard from Google’s Alan Davidson and will not be calling the FTC tomorrow. As a shareholder, I’m rooting for Google to get to the bottom of what happened.  – D.R. If my AdWords hassles are not just an isolated screw-up, Google deserves a tough antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade […]

  Not everyone in real estate or construction is Washington-smooth like Sy Solomon. Thanks to my friend Court Merrigan for this link to an excerpt from the Glengarry GlenRoss movie, adapted from the David Mamet play. Both show, in Court’s words, ”the cold seething black heart of capitalism.” Management doesn’t want you sipping coffee if […]

Film as perfect budget-crisis metaphor? As generic rhetoric, some in Washington may talk of  a “perfect storm” of chaos in the American and global financial markets if Republicans and Democrats don’t raise the debt ceiling by August 2. I myself, however, am thinking precisely of the book and movie title based on the meteorological term—yes, […]

The Solomon Scandals is fiction—a mix of suspense, tragedy and satire—but more than a little history lurks within in it. A high-rise collapsed in Northern Virginia, and a Senator really did hold a secret and illegal investment in a CIA-occupied building a few miles away. Characters and events are composites or imaginary. But Scandals still […]

“He would fit in well here.” – Chronicle of Higher Education commenter quoting a CNN report on just-captured mobster Whitey Bulger: “An ‘avid reader with an interest in history,’ Bulger was known to frequent libraries and historic sites, the FBI said. “ Whitey’s brother, William, aka “Billy,” spent years as a university president, not just […]

Like almost all other novels by unknowns, The Solomon Scandals has faced its challenges, but now my book has a powerful, newsworthy friend in Tony Weiner. His misdoings have been catnip for my Kindle rankings. They’re hardly stellar, but have risen to as high as the first 10,000 or 11,000  on occasion this week—not bad […]

From ABC News Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, a multimillionaire benefactor of John Edwards, slipped him hundreds of thousands of dollars without the Federal Election Commission being the wiser. The alleged goal was to spare not just Edwards but also his presidential campaign from the public-relations Chernobyl that would result if the world learned of his secret […]

Terrorists must love the Quarter Pentagon, aka BRAC-133, just off I-395 here in Alexandria, Virginia. We’re talking about 6,400 defense workers destined for an unsecured location, perfect for a drive-by missile shooting—and let’s not forget, either, the idiocy of the Army Corps of Engineer in bragging about its high-profile target. The geniuses even managed to […]

Ever wonder why our politicians, business leaders, and media figures so often disappoint us, and what happens after the scandals? The Solomon Scandals is not only about the original chicanery and related crimes but also their ripples—right up to the late 21st century. It mixes suspense, tragedy, and satire in an edgy look at Washington […]

Did Harry Truman really say, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog”? Or maybe “buy a dog”? In The Solomon Scandals, an eloquent Afghan named Thackeray II quotes that line in a Truman act at the Cosmos Club. But he gets corrected by Prof. Rebecca Kitiona-Fenton, author of the foreword and afterword […]

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Scam artists and worse infest the Internet. But the Net also brims with honest expressions of political opinion. Yes, I intensely dislike ex-President Bill Clinton’s idea of a tax-funded 1984ish “Ministry of Truth” or any other police-style approach for the Internet beyond the existing regulatory agencies—even if he doesn’t necessarily have censorship in mind. Letting […]

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Pete Hamill is out with Tabloid City, a New York newspaper novel commanding its share of pixels, column inches and decibels. If the rest of Tabloid City is like the first parts, I could never have written his book, just as The Solomon Scandals would have been impossible for him—we see life,  newspapers and fiction […]

Actually, any woman would have been too sexy in this case. In line with its no-females-in-photos rule, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper zapped Secretary of State Hillary  Clinton from a photograph of Obama Administration officials watching the bin Laden raid. More details here, here, here and here. Wow, a Jewish Taliban—or maybe a second one! I […]

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 […]

Almost to the day, 66 years ago, on April 28, 1045, Mussolini’s enemies shot him and kicked and spat on his body, and on April 30 of that same year, Hitler killed himself with a Walther PPK 7.65 mm pistol (right photo). Now it is 2011 and we’ve TWEPed and buried Osama bin Laden. A […]

Felice Cohen is happy here. I’m not sure if I’d be, although I envy her ability as an organizer and wish her luck with her new book on her grandfather who survived the Holocaust. Actually, in The Solomon Scandals, a maverick bureaucrat lives in a space smaller than Ms. Cohen’s. Meanwhile, might Ms. Cohen want […]

Check out the resultant experience for yourself. More info on PressJack is here and here, and, yes, it will also transform other RSS feeds—for reading or publication. One more way to show off sample book chapters? But wait! So far I can’t get the “experience” link to work with my iPad, apparently for Flash-related reasons. (Thanks […]

Update: Jim Moran has since told me there was no quid pro quo, that the real estate developer's contributions were part of an arrangement by which he contributed to many races at once. I appreciated his responding and will let readers judge for themserves. I’ve already told how the $1B Quarter Pentagon, aka BRAC-133, part […]