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Chernobyl

History of a Tragedy
Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)
Regular price: £23.99
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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy, read by Leighton Pugh.   

Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize.  

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 5 percent of the reactor's fuel escaped, but that was enough to contaminate over half of Europe with radioactive fallout.   

In Chernobyl, Serhii Plokhy re-creates 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.

©2019 Serhii Plokhy (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic reviews

"An insightful and important book, that often reads like a good thriller, and that exposes the danger of mixing powerful technology with irresponsible politics." (Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens

"As moving as it is painstakingly researched...a cracking read." (Viv Groskop, Observer)

What members say

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Fascinating

I already knew a fair bit about the technology and accident itself. This book contains an excellent, if a little light on technical details, account. What was new and most interesting to me was the description of the political framework it all occurred in.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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best ever!

the best account of the tragedy and aftermath of chernobyl ive read. couldnt stop listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Intriguing right to the end

Incredibly well researched and presented account of a tragic but fascinating period of history.
Great thought and detail has gone into writing this and I enjoyed it right to the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Infuriating mispronunciation of Nuclear

Leighton Pugh has me angry within five minutes. He pronounces ‘nuclear’ as ‘nucular’ and I can’t forgive it. The word is not exactly rare in this book.

Genuinely distracting.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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No.

No. This book is not about what happened at Chernobyl. It is about politics. Narration matches the content. Stay away.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful