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Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate List

Our list of some of the best Chernobyl books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.

1. Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World’s Worst Nuclear Disaster (2016)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate ListAt 01:23:40 on April 26th 1986, Alexander Akimov pressed the emergency shutdown button at Chernobyl’s fourth nuclear reactor. It was an act that forced the permanent evacuation of a city, killed thousands and crippled the Soviet Union. The event spawned decades of conflicting, exaggerated and inaccurate stories. This book, the result of five years of research, presents an accessible but comprehensive account of what really happened. From the desperate fight to prevent a burning reactor core from irradiating eastern Europe, to the self-sacrifice…
Author(s): Andrew Leatherbarrow

2. Voices from Chernobyl (Lannan Selection) (2019)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate ListA journalist by trade, who now suffers from an immune deficiency developed while researching this book, presents personal accounts of what happened to the people of Belarus after the nuclear reactor accident in 1986, and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they still live with. Chernobyl, the acclaimed HBO miniseries and winner of ten Emmy Awards, is based in large part on the personal recollections from Voices from Chernobyl. Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown—from innocent citizens to firefighters to…
Author(s): Svetlana Alexievich, Keith Gessen

3. Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster (2020)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate ListEarly in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and…
Author(s): Adam Higginbotham

4. Voces de Chernobil / Voices from Chernobyl (Spanish Edition) (2019)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate ListLa escritora bielorrusa da voz a aquellas personas que sobrevivieron al desastre de Chernóbil y que fueron silenciadas y olvidadas por su propio gobierno. Este libro les da la oportunidad de contar su historia. . «Cierra las ventanillas y acuéstate. Hay un incendio en la central. Vendré pronto.» Esto fue lo último que un joven bombero dijo a su esposa antes de acudir al lugar de la explosión. No regresó. Y en cierto modo, ya no volvió a verle, pues en el hospital su marido dejó de ser…
Author(s): Svetlana Alexievich

5. CHERNOBYL: The Unbelievable, Forbidden, Hidden but True Story of the World’s Worst and Greatest Nuclear Disaster (2 Books in 1 : Chernobyl – Prelude of a Disaster & Chernobyl – The Dawn After) (2019)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate ListAt 01:23 AM in the morning of April 26th 1986, the world was shaken by a man-made nuclear disaster: Unit 4 of the Chernobyl power plant met historical devastation that night, resulting in lasting ecological, medical, and political effects.Who was truly responsible for the explosion?Was it a human error, a technical fault, or mere propaganda?Read below to discover more.The causes of such an accident for long remained behind the veil of governmental secrecy. For years, the people remained shocked by an RBMK explosion, and its ramifications remained…
Author(s): Svetlana Kostenko

6. Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe (2020)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate ListOn 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…
Author(s): Serhii Plokhy

7. Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy (2019)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate List*WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2018*’As moving as it is painstakingly researched. . . a cracking read’ Viv Groskop, ObserverOn 26 April 1986 at 1.23am a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine exploded. While the authorities scrambled to understand what was occurring, workers, engineers, firefighters and those living in the area were abandoned to their fate. The blast put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, contaminating over half of Europe with radioactive fallout.In Chernobyl,…
Author(s): serhii plokhy

8. Of Dust and Echoes: A Tour of The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (2019)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate ListSilent Bill, street artist and author takes you on a haunting visual tour of the abandoned city of Pripyat. The city was evacuated on 27 April 1986, 30 hours after the Chernobyl disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant which was the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. Pripyat, had been built as a home for the power plant workers. 30 years removed from the disaster the city remains a ghost town inhabited only by nature itself. Silent Bill captures the tone of the city and natures resilience within the pages of ‘Of Dust and Echoes’. #744,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #1809 in Photography History #875…
Author(s): Silent Bill

9. Modern Classics: Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future (2017)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate List‘A beautifully written book, it’s been years since I had to look away from a page because it was just too heart-breaking to go on’ – Arundhati Roy, Elle ‘One of the most humane and terrifying books I’ve ever read’ – Helen Simpson, Observer The devastating history of the Chernobyl disaster by Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the Nobel prize in literature – A new translation by Anna Gunin and Arch Tait based on the revised text – In April 1986 a series of explosions shook the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Flames lit up the sky and radiation escaped to contaminate the land and…
Author(s): Svetlana Alexievich

10. CHERNOBYL – PRELUDE OF A DISASTER: A Tale of Man-Made Nuclear Devastation (Vol. I) (2019)

 Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate ListA Nominee for “Heorhij Stepanovych Kyrylenko National Prize 2019” and winner of the “Best journalistic report on Chernobyl disaster” named by Kyiv Today, this book unfolds the events of the worst nuclear accident, also depicted in the world famous “Chernobyl” 2019 drama TV serie, with more in-depth details. Read below to discover more.At 01:23 AM in the morning of April 26th 1986, the world was shaken by a man-made nuclear disaster : Unit 4 of the Chernobyl power plant met historical devastation that night, resulting in lasting ecological,…
Author(s): Svetlana Kostenko

Best Chernobyl Books: The Ultimate List

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some chernobyl books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Crime of Chernobyl: The Nuclear Gulag

Author(s): Wladimir Tchertkoff
ID: 2388416, Publisher: Glagoslav Publications, Year: 8 Apr 2016, Size: 1 Mb, Format: epub

Behavior of Radionuclides in the Environment II: Chernobyl

Author(s): Alexei Konoplev, Kenji Kato, Stepan N. Kalmykov
ID: 2883604, Publisher: Springer Singapore;Springer, Year: 2020, Size: 13 Mb, Format: pdf

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster

Author(s): Adam Higginbotham
ID: 2328973, Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Year: 2019, Size: 21 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are truly best-sellers according to USA Today, others are written by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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