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

Category: Book
By (author): Higginbotham, Adam
Subject:  HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
  HISTORY / General
  HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
  SCIENCE / Physics / Nuclear
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: February 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 560
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 1.80in
Our Price:
$ 39.95
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Finalist

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Journalist Adam Higginbotham's definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster-and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century's greatest disasters.

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 its citizens and the entire world. 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Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to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 nonfiction 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 Chernobyl is 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.
Review Quote*" Superb, enthralling and necessarily terrifying . . . the accident unfurls with a horrible inevitability. Weaving together the experiences of those who were there that night, Higginbotham marshals the details so meticulously that every step feels spring-loaded with tension. . . . Amid so much rich reporting and scrupulous analysis, some major themes emerge. . . . Higginbotham's extraordinary book is another advance in the long struggle to fill in some of the gaps, bringing much of what was hidden into the light." -Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times
Review Quote*"A gripping miss-your-subway-stop read . . . Higginbotham captures the nerve-racked Soviet atmosphere brilliantly." -The New York Times Book Review
Review Quote*"A compelling, panoramic account."-The Christian Science Monitor

"An account that reads almost like the script for a movie . . . Mr. Higginbotham has captured the terrible drama." -The Wall Street Journal
Review Quote*"Midnight in Chernobyl is top-notch historical narrative: a tense, fast-paced, engrossing, and revelatory product of more than a decade of research. . . . A stunningly detailed account . . . For all its wealth of information, the work never becomes overwhelming or difficult to follow. Higginbotham humanizes the tale, maintaining a focus on the people involved and the choices, both heroic and not, they made in unimaginable circumstances. This is an essential human tale with global consequences."-Booklist, Starred Review
Review Quote*"Written with authority, this superb book reads like a classic disaster story and reveals a Soviet empire on the brink. . . . [A] vivid and exhaustive account."-Kirkus, Starred Review
Review Quote*"This is a highly detailed, carefully documented, beautifully narrated telling of this breathtakingly complex accident and its mitigation. Higginbotham's handling of the sociopolitical context is also deft." -Nature
Review Quote*"In chilling detail, this book recounts the many missteps of their response to the disaster. . . . Higginbotham compellingly suggests that these flaws all but predicted the calamity-and, in turn, the collapse of the Soviet Union itself." -The New Yorker
Review Quote*"There has been much reporting about the disaster, but no book has so ably and artfully captured the whole story of what happened that night and in the months and years that followed. With meticulous details, careful research and a gripping narrative, Midnight in Chernobyl is a must-read about nuclear power and the end of the Soviet Union." -Time
Review Quote*"Midnight in Chernobyl is wonderful and chilling. . . . Adam Higginbotham tells the story of the disaster and its gruesome aftermath with thriller-like flair. . . . It is a tale of hubris and doomed ambition, featuring Communist party bosses and hapless engineers, victims and villains, confusion and cover-up." -The Guardian