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Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 19. März 2013

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“It’s high time a book did for epidemiology what Jon Krakauer’s best-selling Into Thin Air did for mountain climbing: transform a long sequence of painfully plodding steps and missteps into a narrative of such irresistible momentum that the reader not only understands what propels enthusiasts forward, but begins to strain forward as well, racing through the pages to get to the heady views at the end. And such is the power of Dan Fagin’s Toms River, surely a new classic of science reporting . . . a sober story of probability and compromise, laid out with the care and precision that characterizes both good science and great journalism.”The New York Times
“A complex tale of powerful industry, local politics, water rights, epidemiology, public health and cancer in a gripping, page-turning environmental thriller.”—NPR

“A thrilling journey full of twists and turns, Toms River is essential reading for our times. Dan Fagin handles topics of great complexity with the dexterity of a scholar, the honesty of a journalist, and the dramatic skill of a novelist.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Emperor of All Maladies

“Immaculate research . . . unstoppable reading . . . Fagin’s book may not endear him to Toms River’s real estate agents, but its exhaustive reporting and honest look at the cause, obstacles, and unraveling of a cancerous trail should be required environmental reading.”The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Fagin’s meticulously researched and compellingly recounted story of Toms River families struggling to find out what was causing the cancers that claimed their children belongs on the shelf with other environmental/medical mysteries. It’s every bit as important—and as well-written—as A Civil Action and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”The Star-Ledger
“Fascinating . . . a gripping environmental thriller.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An honest, thoroughly researched, intelligently written book.”Slate

“This hard-hitting account of cancer epidemiology in the New Jersey town of Toms River is a triumph.”Nature

“Absorbing and thoughtful.”USA Today 

“In an account equal parts sociology, epidemiology, and detective novel, veteran environmental journalist Dan Fagin chronicles the ordeal of this quiet coastal town, which for decades was a dumping ground for chemical manufacturers. Fagin’s compelling book raises broader questions about what communities are willing to sacrifice in the name of economic development.”Mother Jones
“As Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks investigated the tragic impact that unethical scientific pursuits had on a family, Toms River unravels the careless environmental practices that damaged a community. . . . Features jaw-dropping accounts of senseless waste-disposal practices set against the inspiring saga of the families who stood up to the enormous Toms River chemical plant. The fate of the town, we learn, revolves around the science that cost its residents so much.”Booklist
“A crisp, hard-nosed probe into corporate arrogance and the power of public resistance makes this environmental caper essential reading.”Publishers Weekly
Toms River is an epic tale for our chemical age. Dan Fagin has combined deep reporting with masterful storytelling to recount an extraordinary battle over cancer and pollution in a New Jersey town. Along the way—as we meet chemists, businessmen, doctors, criminals, and outraged citizens—we see how Toms River is actually a microcosm of a world that has come to depend on chemicals without quite comprehending what they might do to our health.”—Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses and Parasite Rex
“At once intimate and objective, Toms River is the heartbreaking account of one town’s struggle with a legacy of toxic pollution. Dan Fagin has written a powerful and important book.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

“This book is required phys. ed., a plunge into one of the uglier pits of the world we are manufacturing.”—Charleston Post and Courier

“A surprisingly exciting tour through the yawning gap that separates cause from effect. Toms River will fill you with outrage: at the blatant abuses of the bad old days, the weak response of government and—worst of all—the knowledge that it could, and most likely will, happen again.”OnEarth
“Deeply and thoroughly researched, it’s a gripping, beautifully told, and thought-provoking account of a human tragedy. . . . Fagin weaves a tight, compelling narrative that exerts an almost novelistic pull on the reader. . . . An important book.”Chemical & Engineering News
“An engaging and well-documented exposé about chemical contamination and the discovery of a cancer cluster . . . Toms River is a cautionary tale about the Faustian tradeoffs between unfettered economic growth and industrial pollution.”New Jersey Monthly
“The complete tale of twentieth-century environmental calamity told in brilliant microcosm as if it were a le Carré spy thriller peopled with a cast of Dickensian characters you’d find in a John Irving novel—from shady waste haulers to reluctant-hero parents . . . The result is remarkable, a landmark page-turner that’s part science, part history, part comedy, and pure tragedy. It’s also one of the most illuminating, engaging, and deliciously readable books that I’ve encountered in a long while, period.”Before It’s News


Newly available in paperback, Dan Fagin's Pulitzer Prize–winning tale of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution is environmental reporting at its best.
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84 von 84 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen It's Personal 25. Februar 2014
Von Stephen M. DeBock - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
For nearly seven years, I worked as a lab technician at the Toms River Chemical Corporation. I remember the initial economic benefit the dye-and-plastics manufacturing plant brought to the community and its philanthropic projects designed to ingratiate it with the population. I remember endorsing the company's effluent pipeline and its alleged efforts to be a good neighbor. That was then. Before the knowledge became public that the plant's Swiss masters were following a time-dishonored tradition: from originally polluting the Rhine River, next to polluting the Ohio River, and finally to polluting the Toms River. Before we knew that waste organics were being secretly dumped onto the sandy soil, where they leached into the groundwater, polluting not only individual wells but the township wells too. Before the onset of the cancer cluster that claimed the lives of many children whose mothers' only sin seemed to be unknowingly drinking tainted water during pregnancy. This book delves deeply into the history of the dye industry and the lessons it brought to Toms River--unfortunately, after the fact. The thorough documentation, in the form of endnotes, often provides sidebars that are fascinating in themselves. This is not a book you'll read in one sitting. The science is detailed and sometimes overwhelms. The anguish of the families is palpable. And the political posturing and deception displayed by the players can stimulate outrage. As well they should.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A master class in science writing 14. Januar 2017
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I'm five chapters in and I've already learned so much. I'm reading this for my Intro to Environmental Health class and it's such a breath of fresh air. This is a great way for anyone to learn about the basics of environmental health, it's history, the policy (or lack thereof) pertaining to it, and the very real, personal consequences of ignoring environmental health hazards. I love that Fagin doesn't limit his writing to the story at hand. He doesn't just write about pollution in Toms River, but also the origins of the dye that the Toms River plant manufactured. He doesn't just write about one man's cancer, but cancer throughout human history. I am excited to share this with all my friends, and to eventually (hopefully) write something this fascinating and important.
5.0 von 5 Sternen and dissolved his bones to the point that walking was painful. " At three months of age Michael was ... 23. April 2017
Von daveyd - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
"Tumors cost Michael the full use of his left eye and ear, ruined his balance, and shifted the location of his internal organs. Steroid drugs stunted his growth and bloated his face, while chemotherapy weakened his heart and lungs, destroyed the lining of his stomach, and dissolved his bones to the point that walking was painful."
At three months of age Michael was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, cancer of the nervous system.
Toms River would transition from a small fishing and tourist destination to a major enclave of secret agreements, corporate bribes and cover-ups, monetary issues beyond greed and passion, moribund citizenry ignorance and indifference, where calloused attitudes of local and State officials created a cauldron of social dissonance and ecological disorders. Toms River Chemical Corporation would become the region's economic engine on which employment came to being perceived as a must-have bastion for continued prosperity.
Toms River Chemical Corporation would also become a hazardous waste disposal income generator from accepting 25 truckloads of waste each day into its six open-pit dumps.
Cyanide, dimethyl sulfate, xylene, nitrobenzene, phosgene are just a few of the more than two dozen chemicals and agents manufactured by what would become the world's largest chemical producer.
Toms River is a 500 plus tome of discovery in 24 chapters of corporate chicanery eloquently detailed as lawyers and executives conspire endlessly to defend a culture of bottom-line results above all else. Only one company in New Jersey was allowed to dump industrial waste into the Atlantic where chemicals were found within a half-mile from the closest beach. "One company" was Ciba-Geigy (formerly Toms River Chemical Corporation) the county's largest employer and a powerful political crucible.
At the end of 1988 the Toms River factory produced its last batch of dry chemicals; BASF acquired the final remnants of Ciba's chemical business.
It was a long journey of drama and intrigue that is well presented alongside the connected human frailties by author Fagin. The final message of
this manuscript seems to be that corporate evil with assists from individual power brokers have no limits.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A story about the human impact of environmental waste 27. Juli 2016
Von Anthony Bosnick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This book covers a lot of territory, but I found it all quite interesting.

1) I was especially intrigued to read that the whole investigation of what happened in Toms River, NJ is rooted in the observations of a nurse at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who noticed that there seemed to be an abnormally high incidence of children with cancer coming from Toms River, NJ. This led her to alert her sister-in-law who worked for the EPA that something seemed strange, and they went from there, although it took years to come to any solid conclusions. This nurse is to be commended for her perceptiveness and for acting on her suspicions.

2) I also found it interesting how long it took to prove anything. Of course with a stable of attorneys trying to show that you couldn't prove anything, this slowed the process, but when lawsuits are inevitable, this is to be expected. 3) The historical section on environmentally caused health risks in nineteenth century Germany in the Rhine River region was captivating history. I'm glad that was included. 4) The history of chemicals in Toms River and how they impacted the water supply was fascinating. 5) The stories of the people impacted by the chemicals, those who had cancer and their families who supported them, captured the human impact the improper disposal of the chemicals; these stories were told with honesty and dignity. So many suffered that it was heartbreaking to read. (This takes us back to the nurse in point 1, above, who saw something needed to be done.)

All together, this book showed me something of the complexities of the scientific method that needs to be followed and respected in order to prove that the chemical companies and their procedures of disposal of chemical waste could be the cause of the cancers in Toms River. In so many ways, all these things were woven together by author Dan Fagan into an engaging story.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Engaging Remarkable 3. Januar 2015
Von MDCRABGUY - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Verifizierter Kauf
Toms River is a story about the environmental impact on a community from 1952 through 2001. It is about corporate negligence, scientific investigation, community activism, science and medical history, and personal tragedy. It is a very complex, tragic story with many characters that are conveyed in a very engaging manner. The book follows Toms River as a growing community that transitions over time and is impacted by carcinogens in its drinking water and air.
The first two chapters of the book are slow reviewing the origins of Toms Rivers dating back to the Colonial period. One interesting approach is Dan Fagin provides a sub narrative throughout the book on a history of chemistry dating back to the Greeks, and other scientific developments that eventually lead to the chemical industry. There are no breaks in the text to indicate a change in topic. It took me a couple of chapters to become accustomed to the shift in the discussion. There should be subtitles or a series of asterisks *** to indicate the narrative change.
The book builds its narrative first focusing on decisions and neglect taking place at the chemical plant and the water company. There was an additional location where a scrupulous waste company deliberately dumped waste on private property to save money that became a significant source of pollution.
The third section reviews growing community concerns, contentions within the community, struggles between the local community and the companies, arguments with local and state officials, grassroots political activism, media attention, and eventually the EPA becoming involved with the pollution cleaned up as a Super Fund project.
All through the book the community wants answers as to what is causing cancer within its community. This looming question is not addressed until the cleanup had begun. There are many people in the community with cancer, particularly children. Here Fagan does an excellent walking the reader through the history of cancer research and what the disease actually is. Throughout the book there is liberal use of quotations, particularly from community meetings that I found very effective. Causes for the cancer are complex and not easy to explain. Some of the families received compensation, but how cancer hit the community was never truly answered and no apologies given.
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