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

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]