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City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11 (2010)

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On 9/11, the destruction of the World Trade Center 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, even as the sickening results of exposure became increasingly difficult to ignore. Why? And why have years of politics and courtroom maneuvers delayed justice for those who gave their all when the need was greatest? Anthony DePalma goes beyond his front-page coverage of ground zero in The New York Times, offering the first full accounting of one of the gravest environmental catastrophes in U.S. history. He separates myth from reality…reveals the decisions that destroyed public trust…shares powerful, never-before-told stories of the victims and those who’ve tried to help them…and helps us make sure this never happens again.

• They said the air was safe.
The health myths and realities of 9/11–and the decade of suspicion and fear that followed.
• “This smells different. It tastes different.”
The firefighters who couldn’t breathe, and the doctors who treated them.
• Sound bites, arrogance, scorn, and invective.
New Yorkers versus the political and legal system.
• A comprehensive look at what lies ahead.
The ongoing impact for the thousands who were directly affected, and lessons for the future.