City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

City of Dust: Illness, Arrogance, and 9/11

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  22 reviews
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. W...more
ebook, 345 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by FT Press (first published May 12th 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 351)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
As a New Yorker who spent half her life living in the great city of New York, I knew this was a book I would appreciate reading. As the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center attack is sadly approaching I thought this book would be very fitting. Anthony DePalma's "City of Dust" gives the reader a mind opening look at the history of the ground zero site through a public health and safety approach. For anyone with an interest in this issue, you will finish this book feeling extremely informed...more
Tom Hansen
A definite buy if you are interested in the details of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath!

This book chronicles the lasting effects of the dust cloud that surged over Manhattan on 9/11 when the towers came down. The dust was a mixture of mercury vapor from the thousands of florescent tubes, gasses from the improperly burning jet fuel, asbestos, pulverized concrete dust from the structure itself, as well as untold hundreds of other volatile chemicals made from the burning computers, monitors, ca...more
Poignant story of the 9-11 workers involved in the rescue and clean up and the New Yorkers who were exposed to the deadly dust that coated the city. The dust contained everything from asbestos and lead to glass and bone fragments. It wasn't long before many had a hacking cough and were being diagnosed with deadly cancers and auto immune diseases. Unfortunately, the death count if that awful day continues to rise as these people are being recognized as being victims of that day.
Christopher Rex
The book itself is good. The author, in my opinion, does a good job of remaining objective about the battle over diseases "allegedly" caused by the WTC dust on 9-11 (and after). He certainly hits the mark that it is a horribly subjective situation of "best guesses" and "probabilities" which is terrain in which, generally, lawyers thrive at the expense of others. The legal battles surrounding the WTC dust and its link to disease is no exception. In this sense, I felt the book was very good, thoug...more
The author does a great job putting this all together. It was of course, a sad account of all that transpired after the attacks on 9/11. I felt sorry for those running for their lives as the collapse of the towers surrounded them in an environment for which they could barely breathe. For the first responders, who in their heroic efforts to recover injured people, found none. I also never thought about all the people who lived in the surrounding areas for which their homes/offices/apartments/scho...more
Kristin Little
Can I give it two and 1/2 stars? It wasn't terrible... It was just boring. The topic had lots of potential... especially coming up on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, but just became very repetitive. I am usually a one-book, slog-through-until-you're-done reader, but this book kept being put aside for other, more interesting books. It took me more than 4 months to make it all the way through. i just couldn't bring myself to read it. The author basically looked at the data from several different...more
Oct 12, 2011 Elaine marked it as started-reading-but-didn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
By denying us the truth, our government protects itself fiscally, while keeping at a distance, keeping themselves safe physically. We the people should not have believed them when told that the dust from the Twin Towers was safe to breathe. I suppose though that we wanted to believe the lie rather than believe that our government could so blatantly lie so as to protect themselves while standing back and letting others do the work to recover those left in the debris, and letting them be the ones...more
This book takes a look at the impact of the dust that was created by the collapse of the WTC on 9/11. Interesting aspect is medical program created to assist firefighters/police in comparison to those who worked lived in the area of WTC. Explores how at first the response was on recovery and then changed to clean-up and rebuilding. It seems change to focus of safety of workers was not as apparent. Confusion as Feds declared the air safe and thus many did not use air filters that could have spare...more
Michael Karol
Another sad book, full of ironies. We are beginning to experience, and by "we" I mean as a society, not me or you necessarily, but the first responders to 9/11, the awful price they and the city of New York have paid and will pay in terms of illness and more death, because precautions weren't taken in the face of the unfathomable emergency of losing the World Trade Center buildings and the people trapped inside. A must-read for anyone who cares about humanity (all of us, right?), but by no means...more
_City of Dust_ is a great look at how the truthiness of 9/11's environmental/public health disaster is shaped by stakeholders: scientists, politicians, media, victims/survivors, and the general public. Depalma provides a different way of looking at this national tragedy, especially in light of the 2011 controversy of NYC barring certain first responders from attending the 10-year anniversary event. This is a thoughtful, investigative portrayal of imperfect people in an imperfect system.
What the government did wrong and did right at the time of the attacks. Health problems faced by the first responders and residents of the area. The legal battles to prove cause and effect. In our rush to prove to the world that nothing can break us; that you may knock us down but we'll be back on our feet tomorrow, neither the government nor the workers did anyone any favors.
An interesting examination of the dust produced when the World Trade Centers collapsed and its harmful properties. The author takes an in depth look at all of the problems caused by the dust, including the health problems of ground zero workers and the many lawsuits filed by those affected by it.
Vera VB
The tragedy of 9/11 keeps going on for the rescue workers by having all kind of illnesses connected to the dust, smoke and ash from the collapsing towers. Hard to read how they have to fight for their rights while being so ill. Also hard to read that there are people who abuse the system.
A comprehensive account of the environmental consequences of 9/11. Makes one realise that risk assessment has its limitations in the face of such an unprecedented catastrophe. Looks at the role played by the media, the politicians and the lawyers in influencing the response.

Great background into one of the lesser known impacts of 9/11 and the case being made for people suffering health problems as a result of the dust.

A bit dry and sciency in parts, which makes it a dense read, but lots of information and details.
Just couldn't keep reading this. Just too dry and boring! Going to try reading "Escape from the World Trade Center", which is by a 9/11 survivor. Luckily, this was a free book, so nothing lost, except for a couple hours of reading time.
I had never thought about 9/11 as an environmental disaster, but after this book I have to ask myself why I never thought of it that way. Depressing, but informative.
Allie M
A great read for anyone interested in public health, the environment or emergency preparedness!
A new perspective on the 9/11 tradegy. A great read!
Sheri Brens
Very interesting and disturbing
Karen Peabody
well written! a must read.
Scott marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2014
Jernee marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2014
Mika O'Donovan
Mika O'Donovan marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2014
Kendra marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies
  • Breakthrough!: How the 10 Greatest Discoveries in Medicine Saved Millions and Changed Our View of the World
  • Best Little Stories from the Civil War: More than 100 true stories
  • In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions...When It Counts
  • Hitler's Pre-Emptive War: The Battle for Norway, 1940
  • A Dog Named Slugger
  • Allies and Enemies: How the World Depends on Bacteria
  • Two Wars: One Hero's Fight on Two Fronts--Abroad and Within
  • Pictures of the Mind: What the New Neuroscience Tells Us about Who We Are
  • Unbillable Hours: A True Story
  • Admit One: My Life in Film
  • Retirementology: Rethinking the American Dream in a New Economy
  • Beer Is Proof God Loves Us: The Craft, Culture, and Ethos of Brewing, Portable Documents
  • Living Rich by Spending Smart: How to Get More of What You Really Want
  • Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Mac & Cheese Recipes: Exclusive on-line cookbook
  • The Everything Soup, Stew, and Chili Cookbook
  • En Route: A Paramedic's Stories of Life, Death, and Everything in Between
The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba, and Herbert L. Mathews of the New York Times Here: A Biography of the New American Continent

Share This Book