The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe
in conversation with ALEXANDRA VACROUX
This event includes a book signing
May 18, 2018
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes Eastern Europe historian and Harvard professor SERHII PLOKHY for a discussion of his latest book, Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe. He will be joined in conversation by ALEXANDRA VACROUX, the Executive Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.
On the morning of April 26, 1986, Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine. Dozens died of radiation poisoning, fallout contaminated half the continent, and thousands fell ill.
In Chernobyl, Serhii Plokhy draws on new sources to tell the dramatic stories of the firefighters, scientists, and soldiers who heroically extinguished the nuclear inferno. He lays bare the flaws of the Soviet nuclear industry, tracing the disaster to the authoritarian character of Communist party rule, the regime's control of scientific information, and its emphasis on economic development over all else.
Today, the risk of another Chernobyl looms in the mismanagement of nuclear power in the developing world. A moving and definitive account, Chernobyl is also an urgent call to action.
"Serhii Plokhy is uniquely qualified to tell this tragic story: he writes not only as a major historian but also as someone who was living with his family under the cloud of the Chernobyl disaster at the time. The result is as riveting as a novel." ―Mary Elise Sarotte, author of The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall
"Serhii Plokhy has produced a highly readable account of the Chernobyl disaster and its political impact. It is destined to be the authoritative account for years to come." ―John Herbst, Director, Eurasia Center, Atlantic Council
"Serhii Plokhy provides the definitive story of the Chernobyl crisis and its aftermath, skillfully covering all angles from the scientific story, the humanitarian and economic costs of the clean-up, the manner in which the explosion forced Gorbachev to jump-start his perestroika reforms, and the igniting of Ukrainian nationalism." ―Andrew Wilson, Professor of Ukrainian Studies, UCL
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