Lovers of skillfully executed investigative reporting and great storytelling will enjoy listening to veteran journalist Dan Fagin discuss his book Toms River tonight, 7pm, at the Montclair Public Library.
A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed.
Investigative journalist Dan Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China. The book melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative.
He tells the stories of the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and brings to life the everyday heroes in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn’t want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change.
Fagin is an associate professor of journalism and the director of the Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program at NYU. He was twice a principal member of reporting teams that were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize during his 15-year stint as the environmental writer at Newsday.