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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]