Asbestos House: The Secret History of James Hardie Industries

Asbestos House: The Secret History of James Hardie Industries

Paperback

By (author) Gideon Haigh

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  • Publisher: Scribe Publications
  • Format: Paperback | 468 pages
  • Dimensions: 136mm x 208mm x 36mm | 458g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Carlton North
  • ISBN 10: 1921215704
  • ISBN 13: 9781921215704
  • Sales rank: 249,925

Product description

Founded in 1888, James Hardie Industries is one of Australia's oldest, richest and proudest corporations. And its fortunes were based on what proved to be one of the worst industrial poisons of the twentieth century: asbestos. Asbestos House, the name of the grand headquarters that Hardie built itself in 1929, tells two remarkable tales. It relates the frantic financial engineering in 2001 during which Hardie cut adrift its liabilities to sufferers of asbestos-related disease, the public and political odium that followed, and the extraordinary deal that resulted. It is also the story of how the company, forgot how, even as fibro built a nation, the asbestos fibre from which it was made condemned thousands to death. Reconstructed from hundreds of hours of interviews and thousands of pages of documentation, Asbestos House is a saga of high finance, industrial history, legal intrigue, medical breakthrough and human frailty.

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Author information

Gideon Haigh has been a journalist for more than thirty years, contributed to more than a hundred newspapers and magazines, written thirty books and edited seven others. His book On Warne won the British Sports Book Awards Best Cricket Book of the Year Award, the Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award, the Jack Pollard Trophy, and the Waverley Library Nib Award; it was also shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards Biography of the Year, the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, and the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. The Office won the NSW Premier's Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction. Other recent titles include Uncertain Corridors: Writings on Modern Cricket, End of the Road? on Australia's automotive industry, and The Deserted Newsroom, about media in a digital age.

Review quote

"This well-written and researched book should appeal to the legal mind, since it recounts how human folly on a grand scale led to an ever-increasing stream of personal damages claims and a commission of enquiry." Philip Burgess, "Law Society Journal""