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Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy

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'A nuclear nightmare told minute by minute ... extraordinary ... powerful storytelling. Plokhy is a master' Sunday Times

The gripping story of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, from an acclaimed historian and writer

On the morning of 26 April 1986 Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine. The outburst put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation. In the end, less than five percent of the reactor's fuel escaped, but that was enough to contaminate over half of Europe with radioactive fallout.

In Chernobyl, Serhii Plokhy recreates these events in all of their drama, telling the stories of the firefighters, scientists, engineers, workers, soldiers, and policemen who found themselves caught in a nuclear Armageddon and succeeded in doing the seemingly impossible: extinguishing the nuclear inferno and putting the reactor to sleep. While it is clear that the immediate cause of the accident was a turbine test gone wrong, Plokhy shows how the deeper roots of Chernobyl lay in the nature of the Soviet political system and the flaws of its nuclear industry. A little more than five years later, the Soviet Union would fall apart, destroyed from within by its unsustainable communist ideology and the dysfunctional managerial and economic systems laid bare in the wake of the disaster.

A poignant, fast paced account of the drama of heroes, perpetrators, and victims, Chernobyl is the definitive history of the world's worst nuclear disaster.

Author: Plokhy Serhii
Publisher: PENGUIN
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780141988351
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2019
Serhii Plokhy is Professor of History at Harvard University and a leading authority on Eastern Europe. His books include Baillie Gifford winner Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy, Lost Kingdom, The Gates of Europe and The Last Empire.

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