Midnight in Chernobyl

Midnight in Chernobyl

The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Draws on twenty years of research, recently declassified files, and interviews with survivors in an account of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster that also reveals how propaganda and secrets have created additional dangers.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2019.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781501134616
Characteristics: xx, 538 pages, 16 unnumbered page of plates : portraits, maps ; 24 cm.


From Library Staff

An investigation into how Soviet propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of history's worst nuclear accident. Despite being meticulously researched, this fast-paced narrative reads like a thriller or adventure novel. Winner of the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
trekkiekat Nov 25, 2020

Interesting and thorough, but sometimes too thorough... It was fairly dry and was not a casual read (and I went in VERY interested). If you want a comprehensive review of the Chernobyl disaster, including the history leading up the incident, the days after the disaster, and the political fallout (no pun intended), this is worth a read. If you want something more easily digestible and a reasonably accurate review of various aspects of the disaster, I recommend the mini-series Chernobyl instead.

Oct 08, 2020

Started a conversation with my 18 yr old daughter. That doesn't happen much.

Jul 22, 2020

Awesome book! It provided so much more info as to the how, who and whys of the Chernobyl story. Also what insight to the Soviet world and it's people. I too couldn't put it down. Wished I'd realize the glossary was there before I got to the end of the book. LOL. But that's okay, it doesn't hurt for me to look up terms I'm not understanding. We lived in eastern Europe soon after Chernobyl, and this book really answered some questions I'd had about the disaster and it's people.
Highly recommend this book if you're looking for some insight.

May 09, 2020

This was an interesting read. Sometimes it was a bit dry and technical to read though.

Mar 15, 2020

Mary Ellen

Feb 12, 2020

I could NOT put this book down! I'm not a scientist, know nothing about nuclear power, and even less about the Chernobyl disaster. But this book gripped me in its clutches. VERY readable. And the level of Laurel & Hardy, the Keystone Cops and Abbot & Costello (Who's on First?) in the "Soviet" machine that created this disaster is mind-blowing. Very, very good read. And the resilience of the human body and the animals and environment was a very nice surprise. Who knew?

Jan 29, 2020

Fascinating but dry and name intensive. I am better for reading it, but I was ready for it to end.

Jan 13, 2020

NYT 2019 Top 10

Dec 28, 2019

The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2019

ArapahoeTiegan Nov 24, 2019

Wow. Such an accessible account of what happened at Chernobyl. Higginbotham does a great job of introducing the landscape of the country and the scientific rush into nuclear power plants to explain how an event such as Chernobyl occurred. For someone who does not know much about science, especially such a specific topic within science, I felt that Higginbotham did a great job of describing all of the scientific pieces in such away that an outsider could easily understand what is happening, or supposed to happen. The timeline was laid out very nicely - even though some chapters jumped backwards from where the last chapter ended, it all made sense for what was being broken down and described in each chapter. I am amazed at the level of detail and thankful to understand just a bit more of how such a catastrophic event could have occurred.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WCLS

To Top