City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance and 9/11

Anthony DePalma, FT Press, $25.99 (324p) ISBN 978-0-13138-566-5
Nearly a decade after the destruction of the World Trade Center towers in the Sept. 11 attacks, the toxic legacy of the dust cloud that covered the neighborhood endures. DePalma (Here), a former New York Times reporter who covered the attacks and their aftermath, dissects the policy mistakes and bitter medical and legal clashes over the health problems suffered by rescue workers, cleanup crew, and survivors. The political and economic necessity of getting New York up and running again left "no time for the great city to dwell on what the long-term impact of the dust might be." DePalma methodically if occasionally awkwardly traces the efforts of scientists and doctors to assess the effects of the contaminated dust on the tens of thousands exposed, and the methods used to determine compensation. The scope of the aftereffects remains so vast that DePalma's account doesn't always retain a sense of narrative urgency, but he does convey how outrageously bureaucracy has stalled appropriate care for survivors and rescue workers. "Trust collapsed with the towers, and dust buried the truth," he writes, and the path to retribution remains obscured. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/21/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Open Ebook - 346 pages - 978-0-13-212130-9
Open Ebook - 345 pages - 978-0-13-212131-6
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-13-417222-4
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