Deceit and Denial details the attempts by the chemical and lead industries to deceive Americans about the dangers that their deadly products present to workers, the public, and consumers. Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner pursued evidence steadily and relentlessly, interviewed the important players, investigated untapped sources, and uncovered a bruising story of cynical and cruel disregard for health and human rights. This resulting exposé is full of startling revelations, provocative arguments, and disturbing conclusions--all based on remarkable research and information gleaned from secret industry documents.
This book reveals for the first time the public relations campaign that the lead industry undertook to convince Americans to use its deadly product to paint walls, toys, furniture, and other objects in America's homes, despite a wealth of information that children were at risk for serious brain damage and death from ingesting this poison. This book highlights the immediate dangers ordinary citizens face because of the relentless failure of industrial polluters to warn, inform, and protect their workers and neighbors. It offers a historical analysis of how corporate control over scientific research has undermined the process of proving the links between toxic chemicals and disease. The authors also describe the wisdom, courage, and determination of workers and community members who continue to voice their concerns in spite of vicious opposition. Readable, ground-breaking, and revelatory, Deceit and Denial provides crucial answers to questions of dangerous environmental degradation, escalating corporate greed, and governmental disregard for its citizens' safety and health.
After eleven years, Markowitz and Rosner update their work with a new epilogue that outlines the attempts these industries have made to undermine and create doubt about the accuracy of the information in this book.
Introduction: Industry's Child
1. The House of the Butterflies: Lead Poisoning among Workers and Consumers
2. A Child Lives in a Lead World
3. Cater to the Children: The Promotion of White Lead
4· Old Poisons, New Problems
5· Better Living through Chemistry?
6. Evidence of an Illegal Conspiracy by Industry
7· Damn Liars
8. 01' Man River or Cancer Alley?
9· A Hazy Mixture: Science, Civil Rights, Pollution, and Politics
10. Science and Prudent Public Policy
Gerald Markowitz is Professor of History at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. David Rosner is Professor of History and Public Health at Columbia University and Director of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. They are coauthors of Children, Race, and Power: Kenneth and Mamie Clark's Northside Center (1996) and Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth Century America (1994). They are coeditors of Dying for Work: Safety and Health in the United States (1987) and Slaves of the Depression: Workers' Letters about Life on the Job (1987).
“Like any solid work of history, Deceit and Denial stands on the strength of its evidence and argument. Rosner and Markowitz marshal a devastating case, an the overarching question of culpability gives their account a narrative power and an analytical precision too often missing in historical scholarship.”—Reviews In History
“This ably written book makes a strong case for a precautionary approach toward the regulation of toxic hazards.”—The Lancet
“An important work...a wonderful depiction of the difficulty of combating a well-funded corporate culture.”—Brian Black Enterprise & Society
“The authors . . . write authoritatively and persuasively, marshaling an impressive array of sources. A strength of this book is that it raises numerous issues related to the manufacture and marketing of potentially toxic products. The book has potential as a text.”—Hugh S. Gorman Technology And Culture
"Provides a most readable narrative history. . . . Even for those unfamiliar with the players, this is a riveting account that can convey a better understanding of the complex influences of corporate-government interactions and the cost to health."—Jama
"Deceit and Denial
...lays bare the truth about how every one of us in America is imperiled when powerful corporations forsake their responsibility to the public health. Rosner and Markowitz have combined the skills of historical research, investigative journalism, and scientific analysis to tell a story that should shake an industry and alert a nation."—Bill Moyers
"Deceit and Denial
is a real public service in reminding all of us that fundamental to protecting our air, water, and the health of our communities and families is the public's right to know."—Carol M. Browner, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, 1933-2001
"This is an especially important book at a time when industry is increasingly sponsoring risk research, and 'voluntary' evaluation is the norm. And it is all the more important at a time when new bio-engineered products are being marketed with little understanding of long-term clinical and subclinical risks."—Dorothy Nelkin, coauthor of The DNA Mystique: The Gene as Cultural Icon
and Body Bazaar: The Market for Human Tissue i nthe Biotechnology Age
"In this time of community health crises, appalling environmental disasters, and political dismay, Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner have given us an urgently needed, galvanizing, hopeful history of triumphant public activism against the greatest odds. In the face of corporate cruelty and lies, labor and community activists, lawyers, and historians stopped polluters and saved countless lives. This vivid, splendid book floodlights past abuses as it charts the road toward a healing, safer future."—Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt