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City of Dust

City of Dust

Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11

Anthony DePalma

Sep 2010, Hardback, 352 pages
ISBN: 9780131385665
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In City of Dust, Anthony DePalma offers the first full accounting of one of the gravest environmental catastrophes in United States history. The destruction on 9/11 of two of the world's largest buildings unleashed a vortex of dust and ash that blotted out the sun and has distorted science, medicine and public policy ever since. The likely dangers of 9/11's massive dust cloud were evident from the beginning, yet thousands chose not to see. Why? As the sickening results of exposure became evident, many still refused to recognize them. Why? The consequences are still being tallied in the wasted bodies and disrupted lives of thousands who gave their all when the need was greatest, but whose demands for justice have been consumed by years of politics and courtroom maneuvers. Why?, separating reality from myth - and doing so with exceptional literary style and grace. DePalma covered Ground Zero for The New York Times for four years. DePalma introduces heroic firefighters, dedicated doctors and scientists, obsessive city officials, partisan politicians, aggressive lawyers, and compassionate judges and reveals the individual decisions that destroyed public trust, and the desperate attempts made to rebuild it. The dust that was the World Trade Center has changed everything it touched. This is the story of that dust, the 9/11 disaster after the disaster, and what it tells us about ourselves and our future.

Acknowledgments x

About the Author xi

Part I: Catastrophe

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 All That We Hold Dear 9

Chapter 2 Optimism or Arrogance? 27

Chapter 3 Significant Chaos 43

Part II: Disease

Chapter 4 Raising Doubts 65

Chapter 5 A Gathering Storm 81

Chapter 6 Building a Science 99

Chapter 7 It’s Not the Dying 117

Chapter 8 Life and Dust 145

Part III: Doubt

Chapter 9 Such Money Grubbers as These 171

Chapter 10 Degrees of Certitude 191

Chapter 11 Beyond Doubt 209

Chapter 12 Assaulting Uncertainty 239

Chapter 13 Science on Trial 261

Part IV: Reality

Chapter 14 Missed Opportunities 287

Chapter 15 Afterclap 299

Epilogue 317

Index 329

The true story of the ongoing human health crisis that followed 9/11 - now fully told for the first time.

  • After 9/11: How clear medical risks were given short shrift, and serious ongoing dangers were discounted in the rush to get New York City back to work.
  • Full and rich coverage of the human stories of this ongoing, unfolding tragedy, and the scientific, government, and legal attempts to provide justice for the victims.
  • By the NY Times correspondent who covered Ground Zero for 4 years.
  • Anthony DePalma is currently writer-in-residence at Seton Hall University. DePalma spent 22 years as a reporter and foreign correspondent for The New York Times. After 9/11, he wrote many of the Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “Portraits of Grief” and spent four years covering the environmental and health consequences of ground zero. A 2007 Emmy finalist for “Toxic Legacy,” in 2009 he won the prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Prize for distinguished international reporting. DePalma’s books include Here: A Biography of the New American Continent and The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba, and Herbert L. Matthews of The New York Times.

    Expert Reviews

    Kirkus Reviews calls Anthony DePalma's City of Dust "An important story with broad ramifications."

    Natural Resources Defense Council calls City of Dust "Part chronicle of tragedy and heroism, part detective story and part legal thriller."

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