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Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster Hardcover – February 12, 2019

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 gripping miss-your-subway-stop read . . . Higginbotham captures the nerve-racked Soviet atmosphere brilliantly.” —The New York Times Book Review

"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 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

"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

"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

"A riveting, deeply reported reconstruction . . . In this powerful work of reportage, Chernobyl and its aftermath emerge as the Soviet Union’s last stand, containing all the pathologies and passion of that social experiment now lost to history." The Los Angeles Times

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

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 12, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1501134612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501134616
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Customer Reviews:
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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4 star
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3 star
2%
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1 star 0% (0%) 0%
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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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Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 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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