Winner of the Reginald Zelnik Book Prize in History
Winner of the Marshall D. Shulman Book Prize
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction
Finalist for the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage
"A magisterial blend of historical research, investigative journalism, and poetic reportage...[A]n awe-inspiring journey." —Economist
After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, international aid organizations sought to help the victims but were stymied by post-Soviet political roadblocks. Efforts to gain access to the site of catastrophic radiation damage were denied, and the residents of Chernobyl were given no answers as their lives hung in the balance. Drawing on a decade of archival research and on-the-ground interviews in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, Kate Brown unveils the full breadth of the devastation and the whitewash that followed. Her findings make clear the irreversible impact of man-made radioactivity on every living thing; and hauntingly, they force us to confront the untold legacy of decades of weapons-testing and other catastrophic nuclear incidents.