Blog Index

Reviews for Building 6


"Randall and Solomon’s expose... documents a complex web of corporate fear, vacillation, and ignorance that kept Rohm and Haas, a chemical manufacturing firm ironically known for its ‘community-mindedness,’ form acting decisively to save workers’ lives..."

"Although this report is likely to be most valuable as a case study in boardroom intransigence, the real shocker for the average reader is the authors’ broader indictment of America’s rush to embrace the synthetic revolution: Industry as a whole has been unwilling to accept the costs of testing toxic chemicals. Workers, especially unionized ones like those at Bridesburg, have been slow to demand effective protection. The government still spends more time inspecting plant lunchrooms than monitoring the production of carcinogens. Given this record, the sorrowful admission by the president of Rohm and Haas that ‘more men have to die. It’s just inevitable…’ is as quietly ominous as the ticking of a social time bomb."

--Saturday Review (Joyce Milton)


"Another blood-chilling account of job-induced death, exceptionally interesting in that it goes beyond the actions of the chemical company involved (which appears to have been motivated in part by ignorance and confusion, although negligence and greed were not absent) to examine the collapse of the whole industrial safety campaign under the Nixon Administration."

--The Atlantic


"…Building 6 is a book that undoubtedly will serve for years as a primer on occupational safety and health. The research is flawless. It’s detail—on corporate expansion into the field of synthetics to follow national demand, and the tortuous legislative path followed by the federal toxic substances control act, which may prevent future incidents—is as thorough as any ever compiled."

"However, if Building 6 is merely shelved in libraries with other, similar works, its purposes will be thwarted. The book is written in a fluid, spellbinding style that will hold the attention of initiate or expert in the field. But, more importantly, the Randall and Solomon account deserves to be read by every American because the men of Building 6—and countless others like them—have labored, and died, to produce the American way of life."

--The Philadelphia Inquirer (Susan Q. Stranahan)


"…The stories of the ’54 who died’ and the Dickensian conditions in which they worked, the medical detective work, political muckraking and investigative journalism that went into uncovering the facts and controlling the industry make fascinating reading..."

--Publishers Weekly


"Building 6 is investigative reporting at its best...It's a muckraking spellbinder..."

--Jack Anderson, Syndicated Newspaper Columnist


"This may be the definitive book on man's corporate inhumanity to man. What makes Building 6 so much more than just another expose of how big business kills is that the victims of this tragedy are imprinted on our minds and consciences as vigorous, living people who die as friends die. We come to know them, laugh with them, drink with them, then aghast, stand by helpless as cancer wastes them."

--Les Whitten, Syndicated Newspaper Columnist