The Poisoning of an American High School

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Overview

If it can happen in Beverly Hills, it can happen anywhere

The Poisoning of an American High School is a feat of investigative reportage and the product of four years of research by award-winning journalist Joy Horowitz. Making lucid the tangled issues of public health, regulation, and the political power of industry, it tells a riveting tale ripped from newspaper headlines-a cancer cluster affecting graduates of one of America's most affluent schools, Beverly Hills High. The ...

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The Poisoning of an American High School

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Overview

If it can happen in Beverly Hills, it can happen anywhere

The Poisoning of an American High School is a feat of investigative reportage and the product of four years of research by award-winning journalist Joy Horowitz. Making lucid the tangled issues of public health, regulation, and the political power of industry, it tells a riveting tale ripped from newspaper headlines-a cancer cluster affecting graduates of one of America's most affluent schools, Beverly Hills High. The Poisoning of an American High School presents the behind-the-scenes saga of the 2003 landmark toxic tort suit, in which more than one thousand plaintiffs, with the sensational Erin Brockovich as their champion, claimed their illnesses could be traced to exposure to the oil derricks just yards from school grounds.

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Editorial Reviews

Barry Siegel
Horowitz raises important alarms. . . . [A] fierce, penetrating, vibrant challenge, wisely telling all of us to be aware—and to care. (Barry Siegel, Pulitzer Prize–winning director of the Literary Journalism Program, UC Irvine, and author of Lines of Defense)
Tom Graff
A remarkable page-turner . . . No one escapes her scrutiny; all get to tell their stories. Yet behind the individual human sagas there's a bigger story about economic power and health risk that reaches far beyond the confines of one of America's iconic ‘small towns.' (Tom Graff, California director, Environmental Defense)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143113867
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 6/24/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Joy Horowitz is a freelance journalist and former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Los Angeles magazine, and many other national publications. She has been the recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship, as well as a Pulitzer Prize nomination for her reporting on indoor air pollution for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Santa Monica, California.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Waking Up     xiii
Part 1     1
From Cedars-Sinai to the Beverly Hills Hotel     3
The Tower of Hope: A Mitzvah Makeover     37
Blame it on Julia Roberts     61
The Curse of the English Department     82
The "Steam" Next Door     98
PR Wars     109
Part 2     131
Razzle-Dazzle     133
Vell Moaltalli     163
Chernobyl, 90212     189
Butt-Ass Wrong     207
Part 3     231
Case Management Order     233
Discovery     257
Trade Secrets and Other Privileges     276
Acceptable Risks     306
Afterword     331
Notes     353
Government and Nonprofit Agencies     413
Cast of Characters     417
Acknowledgments     429
Index     433
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