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Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear…

by Adam Higginbotham

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7903420,083 (4.36)40
--THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER-- 'An invaluable contribution to history.' Serhii Plokhy, Evening Standard 'Tells the story of the disaster and its gruesome aftermath with thriller-like flair. Midnight in Chernobylis wonderful and chilling ... written with skill and passion.' Luke Harding, The Observer 'Superb, enthralling and necessarily terrifying... every step feels spring-loaded with tension... extraordinary.' The New York Times Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history's worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world- shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers not only its own citizens, but all of humanity. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful non-fiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history- a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight In Chernobylis an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will--lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats-remain not just vital but necessary.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Fascinating. I have a tiny quibble with a couple of opinionized remarks only in the beginning of the book; some nasty comments about the Soviets where there is no groundwork or reasoning. Thankfully this does not continue. This is a powerful story and much, much more complicated story of an empire than the HBO series depicts - must read after watching the series. ( )
  tmph | Sep 13, 2020 |
I had heard about the Chernobyl incident in my childhood and how it was one of the key moments that lead to the dissolution of USSR. But I didn't know about the complete story. That's why this book fascinated me.

This book looks at the tragedy from multiple different angles. It analyses the scientific, political, social impact of the event on USSR and the world as a whole. That makes reading the book very interesting.

The book starts with the nuclear reactor wave in USSR and slowly builds up the story towards Chernobyl. It goes through all stages of building the reactor and how the deficiencies across different parts of the organisation lead to a substandard reactor. As part of story, we not only learn about reactors we also learn about how people's minds worked in the cold war. Everything was geared towards building war chest and the military was the defacto leader.

As this book came out recently, it also gives a nice look back after 30 years of what is changed. There is a new wave of nuclear reactors coming into the scene with people like Bill Gates involved. With advanced technology and a better understanding of science, we are hoping to build safer reactors than before.

Overall good book to understand the impact of Chernobyl on USSR and the world as a whole.
( )
  madhukaraphatak | Aug 12, 2020 |
Engaging read. Well told story. Covers many different angles. Source material was deep and informative.Author really dug deep. The interviews and recollections were great. The politics woven into it, when the USSR was coming apart was well done as well. ( )
  bermandog | Jul 24, 2020 |
An excellent history of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ( )
  addunn3 | Jun 23, 2020 |
Very good but it began to drag on and on. Did not finish. ( )
  cjordan916 | Jun 12, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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--THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER-- 'An invaluable contribution to history.' Serhii Plokhy, Evening Standard 'Tells the story of the disaster and its gruesome aftermath with thriller-like flair. Midnight in Chernobylis wonderful and chilling ... written with skill and passion.' Luke Harding, The Observer 'Superb, enthralling and necessarily terrifying... every step feels spring-loaded with tension... extraordinary.' The New York Times Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history's worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world- shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers not only its own citizens, but all of humanity. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful non-fiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history- a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight In Chernobylis an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will--lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats-remain not just vital but necessary.

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