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Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster

by Svetlana Alexievich - £19.00  Dalkey Archive Press (2005)
hardback    ISBN 13: 9781564784018 | ISBN 10: 1564784010

On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occured in Chernobyl and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe. Although the Soviet government claims that only 31 people died as a result, the aftermath of the event is astounding. Over 485 villages are lost, and approximately 2.1 million people (including 700,000 children) live on contaminated land. There is no official record of how many thousands have died, but thousands of children have been born with catastrophic birth defects. Countless others suffer ongoing health problems resulting from their exposure to radiation.
 
Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of what happened to the people of Belarus, and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they still live with. In order to give voice to their experiences, Svetlana Alexievich - a journalist by trade who now suffers from an immune deficiency developed while researching this book - interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown: from innocent citizens, to firefighters, to those called in to clean up the disaster.
 
Voices from Chernobyl is a crucial document of a disaster and how the government has masked its seriousness, making the event even more tragic through deception and lies. Presenting her interviews in monologe form, Alexievich gives readers a harrowing view inside the minds of those affected, untempered by government rhetoric; the reader is left with the shattering pain of living through such an event and its aftermath.

(Price & availability last checked: April 2018)

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In booklists: Russian History, Nuclear Power / Weapons, Chernobyl, World History - Europe, Women in Europe,
In categories: History & Biography, World - Europe, Peace & Human Rights, Environment & Animal Rights, Feminism & Women,

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