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

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

The definitive, dramatic untold story of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, based on original reporting and new archival research.

April 25, 1986, in Chernobyl, was a turning point in world history. The disaster not only changed the world’s perception of nuclear power and the science that spawned it, but also our understanding of the planet’s delicate ecology. With the images of the abandoned homes and playgrounds beyond the barbed wire of the 30-kilometer Exclusion Zone, the rusting graveyards of contaminated trucks and helicopters, the farmland lashed with black rain, the event fixed for all time the notion of radiation as an invisible killer.

Chernobyl was also a key event in the destruction of the Soviet Union, and, with it, the United States’ victory in the Cold War. For Moscow, it was a political and financial catastrophe as much as an environmental and scientific one. With a total cost of 18 billion rubles—at the time equivalent to $18 billion—Chernobyl bankrupted an already teetering economy and revealed to its population a state built upon a pillar of lies.

The full story of the events that started that night in the control room of Reactor No.4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant has never been told—until now. Through two decades of reporting, new archival information, and firsthand interviews with witnesses, journalist Adam Higginbotham tells the full dramatic story, including Alexander Akimov and Anatoli Dyatlov, who represented the best and worst of Soviet life; denizens of a vanished world of secret policemen, internal passports, food lines, and heroic self-sacrifice for the Motherland. Midnight in Chernobyl, award-worthy nonfiction that reads like sci-fi, shows not only the final epic struggle of a dying empire but also the story of individual heroism and desperate, ingenious technical improvisation joining forces against a new kind of enemy.

Title:Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781501134616

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

  • Beata

    Having read several books on this catastrophe, I was tempted yet again to learn more about the disaster which affected directly, among others, my country to a still unknown degree. The Midnight in Che...

  • Nick T. Borrelli

    The Chernobyl disaster is an event that has fascinated me over the past couple of decades. I was in my early teens when it actually happened and although I remember seeing the news stories about the d...

  • Jackie

    I won this book as a giveaway for goodreads. Interesting book about the horrible events that unfolded almost 30 years ago. It gives you a look at why it was created, why the location, who were involve...

  • Kate ?? Olson

    Riveting, horrifying, absolutely STELLAR reporting. I have always been fascinated (in horror) at the Chernobyl disaster and this book was JUST what I needed to wrap my mind around it. The only critici...

  • Elizabeth

    Midnight in Chernobyl is a definitive and chilling account of the nuclear disaster that began on April 25-26, 1986 when the fourth nuclear reactor of the Chernobyl plant imploded, causing a nuclear di...

  • Jill Hutchinson

    It could have easily become the end of the world as we know it.....a nuclear disaster which was not connected to war......a series of human error that continues to haunt. This is the harrowing accoun...

  • Kathleen

    Everyone knows that Chernobyl was a horrible nuclear accident that poisoned the entire area around the reactor. So—what is to be learned in this latest recounting of the disaster? Plenty! Higginboth...

  • ALLEN

    Of all the sorry spectacles that characterized the fearful 45-year interlude called the Cold War, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has to be one of the worst. The site was supposed to embody the best an...

  • Carolyn

    The author has written an impressive, comprehensive book of historical importance. It brings to light events surrounding the Chernobyl catastrophe of 1986 which may be unknown to many in the Western w...

  • ElizabethAnne Olsen

    Just. Fucking. Fantastic. The descriptions of the destruction seemed so surreal like it was a fictional dystopian novel. So difficult to grasp the enormity of this as a real event. The horrific descri...