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Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster by [Adam Higginbotham]
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Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,493 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review

" 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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"In fascinating detail, Higginbotham chronicles how the drama played out, showing that Soviet hubris in part led to the accident and Soviet secrecy compounded it." —Newsday

"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

"More harrowing than any horror movie and more gripping than any thriller. . . Higginbotham creates a history book with the headlong pacing of fiction. . . . Read it to be scared. Read it to be angry. Read it because Higginbotham is a great writer in total control of his material. Just read it. This book will haunt you forever." The Oklahoman

"Highly readable . . . Higginbotham [is] a skilled science writer. . . . Mr. Higginbotham’s book reflects extensive on-the-scene research. . . . Disaster was inevitable, and Mr. Higginbotham vividly describes the futile attempts of engineers to bring a runaway reactor under control." —The Washington Times

“The book reads like an adventure novel, but it’s a richly researched non-fiction work by a brilliant storyteller. . . . Get and read this gripping account to understand why people are still so afraid of nuclear power.” —Skeptic Magazine's Science Salon

“Higginbotham’s scrupulously reported book catalogues the chain of events that occasionally reads as stranger than fiction. The book is more than a gripping history that recounts in great detail events at the reactors; it also offers contextual insights into the Soviet era that help to explain how such a failure could occur. . . . As is the case with many great nonfiction books, it has the urgency and intrigue of the very best thrillers.”  Wired

“Adam Higginbotham's brilliantly well-written Midnight In Chernobyl draws on new sources and original research to illuminate the true story of one of history’s greatest technological failures—and, along with it, the bewildering reality of everyday life during the final years of the Soviet Union.”— Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gulag: A History and Red Famine: Stalin’s War On Ukraine

“A masterpiece of reporting and storytelling that puts us on the ground for one of the most important events of the twentieth century. Adam Higginbotham opens a world nearly impossible to penetrate, then finds truths inside we weren’t supposed to discover. As readers, we could not hope for a more thrilling and visceral adventure. As citizens of the world, we ignore Midnight in Chernobyl at our peril.”Robert Kurson, New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers and Rocket Men

“Here is a triumph of investigative reportage, exquisite science writing, and heart-pounding storytelling. With Midnight in Chernobyl, Adam Higginbotham gives us a glimpse of Armageddon, but carries it off with such narrative verve that he somehow makes it entertaining. One thing is assured: After reading this astonishing, terrifying book, you will never think of nuclear power in quite the same way again.” —Hampton Sides, author of In the Kingdom of Ice and On Desperate Ground

About the Author

Adam Higginbotham writes for The New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineWiredGQ, and Smithsonian. The author of Midnight in Chernobyl, he lives in New York City.

Product details

  • File Size: 35643 KB
  • Print Length: 561 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (February 12, 2019)
  • Publication Date: February 12, 2019
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07GNV7PNH
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,511 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
1,493 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2018
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277 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2019
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Top international reviews

CBS
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 26, 2019
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David Watson
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best account
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2019
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Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight to the world's worst, and worst-managed nuclear catastrophe
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2019
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Mark Shackelford
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very scary
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 16, 2019
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JM- Uk
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2019
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A. W. Mallatratt
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth about the hazards of nuclear power stations.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2019
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Mr. B. Dent
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 10, 2019
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Chris Widgery
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive account. And reads like a thriller
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2020
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Grasshopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account of human and technical tragedy - a real page turner!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2019
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North Yorkshire
5.0 out of 5 stars Great account of amazing events
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2019
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Sir Benedict Godfrey
5.0 out of 5 stars A true tale of disaster
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2019
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Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Factual and highly emotional, a must read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2019
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Mike Wade
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging look at a major event in our planet's history
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 28, 2019
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Jeremy
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 31, 2019
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R CONDER
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2019
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