The Solomon Scandals

The Solomon Scandals

by David Rothman

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940013613034
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Publication date: 01/15/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 942 KB

About the Author

The Solomon Scandals is fiction, but David Rothman did report on such stories as the secret investment that one senator's "blind trust" had held in a CIA-occupied building in Arlington, Virginia. "The Case of The Missing Cafeteria" also came to light through his newspaper work. A cafeteria at the Environmental Protection Agency had gone AWOL despite a lease calling for one. It would have cost more than five-hundred-thousand dollars to build. Rothman's reporting, under grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, led to a congressional investigation and reforms in the federal office-leasing program. Both NBC and ABC evening news broadcasted Rothman's GSA-discoveries. Author of six nonfiction books, Rothman is a native of the Washington area, where he lives today with his wife, Carly. The Solomon Scandals is his debut novel, started three decades ago on a Nixon-era electric typewriter. Visit Rothman on the Web at You can reach him via email at . The site includes links on related topics ranging from journalism to building collapses.

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Solomon Scandals 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
robert_nagle More than 1 year ago
Solomon Scandals is a decidedly old-fashioned morality tale which pits an underdog DC journalist in the 1970s against a powerful coterie of politicians. Stone suspects that Solomon, contractor for the General Services Administration, has been defrauding the government by building substandard buildings and pocketing the difference. It starts out as a hunch, and Stone must try to talk to various bureaucrats to find the real story. In the meantime, his newspaper editor is convinced that Stone is chasing after a nonstory and making people mad in the process. A society columnist (Wendy Blevin) is somehow involved, but we're never sure until the end how the pieces fit together. As we follow Stone's path to hunt down information (remember, this was the 70s before Google and FOIA and even cellphones), we get a sense of how hard genuine reporting was (and still is). This novel is ostensibly about journalists in the 1970s. Does this kind of intrepid reporter exist today? Taking the time to uncover such a long and tangled series of improprieties requires dedication, time and resources - increasingly that role is performed by crusading bloggers and amateur citizen journalists instead of professionals (Indeed, although Rothman started out as a professional journalist, over the last decade he has blogged full time). Even a newspaper with considerable resources and seasoned journalists like the Telegram (presumably modeled after the Washington Post) might have doubts about sending reporters to report things which are still unproven or likely to ruffle the feathers of important people around town (or worse yet, scare away advertising dollars). Stone is surprised to find that his biggest opponent is the newspaper itself - caught in the frantic and futile attempt to balance news with infotainment. But when newspaper reporting is dominated by who is dating whom and who has the most friends and best parties, journalists become nothing more than paparazzis. Stylistically, the novel sometimes sounds preachy and at times it seems too self-aware (in good postmodern form). Throughout the book, the narrator seems aware of how later generations may view this campaign to expose Sy's misdeeds; I confess I sometimes had trouble keeping track of names and details. Also, some of the characters seem too glibly drawn. The mean-spirited Telegraph editor seems too glib a caricature. Still, Stone is an affable guy, and the book does a good job of conveying political vernacular of unknown bureaucrats working for a little-known agency. I leave the novel wondering which details of the scandal would matter to later generations. How much do politicians or officials really matter? One more scandal, one more fallen official. Eventually they blur together. I am tempted to say that later generations of historians care more about things which appear in the gossip pages(and I suspect that the book's gossip columnist would be a subject of endless fascination to historians). Or maybe not. Stone believes (correctly, I think) that historians give undue importance to the newspaper's account of historical events - when in fact the real story never really is told in the newspaper. Perhaps Stone's mistake was in working for a daily newspaper (those bastards!) Maybe the protagonist should have ditched reporting & turned it into a screenplay instead!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago