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Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe

Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe
by Serhii Plokhy
English
Hardcover
432 pages
Basic Books, 2018
English
ISBN-13: 978-1541617094
6.4 x 9.5"
Members 10% discount

From a preeminent historian of Eastern Europe, the definitive history of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

On the morning of April 26, 1986, Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine. Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill.

In Chernobyl, Serhii Plokhy draws on new sources to tell the dramatic stories of the firefighters, scientists, and soldiers who heroically extinguished the nuclear inferno. He lays bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of Communist party rule, the regime’s control of scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else.

Today, the risk of another Chernobyl looms in the mismanagement of nuclear power in the developing world. A moving and definitive account, Chernobyl is also an urgent call to action.

Reviews

"The bare outline of the Chernobyl fire and the Soviet silence have been well covered...Mr. Plokhy, who directs the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard, adds much detail to the...construction that caused the failure, and the false assignment of blame to operating engineers...[His] most telling disclosures deal with how the Soviet subterfuges played a major role in Ukraine's decision to become an independent nation once the Soviet Union disintegrated."—Washington Times

"A history of the nuclear disaster that set precedents-and standards-for future mishaps of the kind...Plokhy...concludes that even in the wake of Chernobyl, we have not gotten much better at containing meltdowns...A thoughtful study of catastrophe, unintended consequences, and, likely, nuclear calamities to come."—Kirkus

"Serhii Plokhy is uniquely qualified to tell this tragic story: he writes not only as a major historian, but also as someone who was living with his family under the cloud of the Chernobyl disaster at the time. The result is as riveting as a novel."
—Mary Elise Sarotte, author of The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall

"Serhii Plokhy has produced a highly readable account of the Chernobyl disaster and its political impact. It is destined to be the authoritative account for years to come."
—John Herbst, Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council

"Serhii Plokhy provides the definitive story of the Chernobyl crisis and its aftermath, skillfully covering all angles from the scientific story, the humanitarian and economic costs of the clean-up, the manner in which the explosion forced Gorbachev to jump-start his perestroika reforms, and the igniting of Ukrainian nationalism."
—Andrew Wilson, Professor of Ukrainian Studies, UCL

About the author

Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard and the director of the university's Ukrainian Research Institute. A leading authority on Eastern Europe, he has lived and taught in Ukraine, Canada and the United States. The author of ten books, including the award-winning The Last Empire, which received the Lionel Gelber Prize, the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize and the Antonovych Ukrainian Book Prize, Plokhy lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Product ID: 40-6924
Price: $ 32.00

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