Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe Audiobook, by Serhii Plokhy Play Audiobook Sample

Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe Audiobook

Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe Audiobook, by Serhii Plokhy Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Ralph Lister Publisher: Basic Books Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 9.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 7.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: May 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781549115158

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

49:58 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

05:13 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

35:40 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Serhii Plokhy: > View All...

Publisher Description

A Chernobyl survivor and the New York Times bestselling author of The Gates of Europe "mercilessly chronicles the absurdities of the Soviet system" in this "vividly empathetic" account of the worst nuclear accident in history (Wall Street Journal).

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 the Communist party rule, the regime's control over 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.

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“Plokhy’s work…reconstructs the events of the night and it aftermath. It also provides a solid background, discussing a multitude of factors leading to the explosion and its handling. The book benefits from the recently opened archives (the subject was classified by the KGB). A dense but informative read.”

— Book Riot 


  • “Gripping, meticulously researched…[with] vividly empathetic descriptions of the people on the ground—the plant managers and employees, the firefighters, soldiers and others—who risked their lives to contain the damage.”

    — Wall Street Journal
  • “The Ukrainian-born Plokhy—now a Harvard history professor—was a student living less than 300 miles from the site in 1986, and this book has a strong personal angle. Using new archive material, it is also a work of deep scholarship and powerful storytelling. Plokhy is a master of the telling detail.”

    — Times (London)
  • “A lucid account of how the Soviet mania for nuclear power combined with endemic shoddiness in the industrial sector and near-paranoid habits of state secrecy led to the 1986 disaster…The most comprehensive and convincing history of Chernobyl yet to appear in English.”

    — Financial Times (London)
  • “Serhii Plokhy provides the definitive story of the Chernobyl crisis and its aftermath.”

    — Andrew Wilson, professor of Ukrainian studies, University College London


  • An bestseller in energy policy
  • A Literary Hub Pick of the week
  • Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize
  • A BookRiot Pick of 6 Best Nonfiction Books about the Chernobyl Disaster
  • Winner of Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, 2018

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About Serhii Plokhy

Serhii Plokhy is the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History and the director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Last Empire, which received the Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book on international relations, and Chernobyl, which was awarded the Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction.

About Ralph Lister

Ralph Lister is an actor, voice actor, and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. He spent fifteen years in London theater before moving to the United States to focus on film and television. He has held numerous roles in Shakespeare and modern dramas, as well as starring roles in independent films. His voice and character work can be heard in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearland 13 Going On 30. He lives in Los Angeles.