Book Review of
Midnight In Chernobyl
Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters. 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Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a “riveting, deeply reported reconstruction” (Los Angeles Times) and a definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.
“The most complete and compelling history yet” (The Christian Science Monitor), Higginbotham’s “superb, enthralling, and necessarily terrifying…extraordinary” (The New York Times) book is an indelible portrait of 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.
On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station, in the U.S.S.R. caused the worst nuclear accident in history. Midnight In Chernobyl shares the story of what happened during the building of the nuclear plant and the city that surrounded it, the build up to the accident, and the month and years after the disaster.
Midnight in Chernobyl includes over 100 pages of author notes. This book and story were well researched and documented. The book made a nuclear disaster fascinating. I could not put this book down. I told my husband that I did not know that I would be so interested in nuclear power and the accident that happened at Chernobyl.
I was a kid when Chernobyl happened. I remember the news reports and stories about it. Reading the book as an adult put it all in perspective. I had no idea all that was involved with the government cover up, the mismanagement, the wounds and deaths that it caused, and the risk that people took to clean up after the accident.
If you love science or history reads, I think you will probably enjoy this one. I told my husband he needs to read it so that we can watch the HBO series that is based on the book.