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

A new local bookstore and Twilight Times Books, publisher of The Solomon Scandals, are teaming up to offer the e-book version for free, in major digital formats, for customers who buy the paperback from the store (price: $16.95). The bundling deal will be limited to the first eight buyers. re∙reads Books is south of Alexandria, […]

For The Solomon Scandals I created a fictitious Virginia county with fictitious crooks. Across the Potomac River in Maryland, I didn’t bother with all the niceties. I just called the county by its real name of “Prince George’s,” and my reporter-narrator told of driving past “row after row of grubby garden apartments—the legacy of developers […]

Update: Jim Moran has since told me there was no quid pro quo, that the Indiana real estate developer's contributions were part of an arrangement by which the developer contributed to many people at once, apparently with an unrelated issue in mind. I appreciated the Moran response and will let readers judge for themselves. A […]

Could the Big Slick in the Gulf of Mexico be musician Steve Forbert’s career break, after years of kneejerk comparisons with Bob Dylan? The two singers both have raspy voices and lyrics with high levels of poignancy and bite. A major difference is that Dylan is a multimillionaire icon, while the sometimes-self-effacing Forbert seems relegated […]

President Eddy Bullard in The Solomon Scandals is a man of discretion and moderation. He isn’t flamboyantly corrupt like the proud politicians of Chicago or Louisiana. No, Bullard limits his favors to people about whom he truly cares—-such as developer Sy Solomon, a major campaign donor and golfing and poker friend. Might Adrian Fenty, the […]

The Solomon Scandals mentions F. Scott Fitzgerald—rather fittingly, given his family’s ties with the Washington area, the main setting of the novel. He and Zelda are even buried in suburban Maryland, and their daughter, Scottie, wrote for the Northern Virginia Sun newspaper and was married to a Washington real estate man. Where else could Scandals […]

Jonathan Stone, the reporter in The Solomon Scandals, grilled me for this Q. & A.—uncut. STONE: Why’s Scandals copyrighted in your name? Those are my newspaper memoirs. ROTHMAN: Er, faux memoirs. Without me, you wouldn’t even have been born…or have worked for the Washington Telegram…or have struggled to avert an IRS-CIA building collapse…or lived through […]

The Solomon Scandals vividly depicts a city of lobbyists, crooked lawyers and other manipulators. Herbert Stone, father of Jonathan Stone, the reporter protagonist, works for a provider of PR and “public affairs” services. It’s “a nice, safe pseudo-Civil Service, so to speak, for careerists keen on abetting the more obnoxious of the corporate profiteers.” But […]

Categories: Future scandals | 1 Comment

Watch CBS Videos Online The Solomon Scandals is a time-warpy kind of novel. Most of the plot unfolds in Washington, D.C., in the 1970s, but the foreword and afterword are of late-21st century vintage. “Reporting” Chips turn out to be a journalistic hazard in this era of cyborgs. Without court orders, FBI-style agencies can have […]

In The Solomon Scandals, my Washington newspaper novel, hundreds of IRS and CIA bureaucrats die in the collapse of a rickety high-rise. Bribery involved? Of course. So how much Real Life is there in this scenario? Just type building collapse corruption into Google and see such headlines as: Corrupt work cited in Egypt building collapse […]

Categories: Politicians | 1 Comment

Both are self-made men from Chicago—intellectual politicians with law degrees. And like me, both are on the liberal side. No doubt, a few superficial parallels exist between my fictitious Eddy Bullard and President-elect Barack Obama. And it isn’t even deliberate. Thirty years ago when I conceived The Solomon Scandals, President Bullard held a law degree […]

Categories: GSA | Add a Comment

A variant of a Shakespearian quote shows up on the base of a statue outside the National Archives, once within the domain of the General Services Administration: “What is past is prologue.” Why have so many scandals broken out at the government’s business agency over the years? And will we see more of them in […]