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

  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 […]

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 […]

The Schmidoffs’ windmill burned down in 1908 in Lipnick, Russia. An upshot was a real estate empire half a planet away, including Crystal City, the huge office and residential complex across the highway from Reagan National Airport. How did it happen? A rabbi saw the fire and other events as signs for the Schmidoffs to […]

Good news: Editor & Publisher, the bible of the newspaper business, is back from the dead and will be published by Duncan McIntosh. Mark Fitzgerald, an E&P veteran, is the new top editor. Online reporting has resumed, and a February issue will appear. Duncan McIntosh is  a boating magazine publisher—it also organizes boat shows. Separately […]

Sy Solomon, the real estate millionaire in The Solomon Scandals, never existed. Like many of the characters in my novel, he is a composite. The late Charles E. Smith, however, the founder of the construction company of the same name, would have been the most like Solomon. He and associates controlled at least $150 million […]