Book Review by Ian Fairlie: Kate Brown’s excellent new book is valuable because of her lengthy, painstaking research into the Soviet archives after the accident. In many of these, she was the first to examine their contents. She spent many years in Russia and Ukraine and learned to speak both languages in order to carry out her research. Not many researchers do that, so kudos to the author. The best parts of her book describe the citizen-scientists, independent doctors, health officials, journalists, and activists who started to unravel the truth about the long-term ill-health caused by Chernobyl’s radioactive fallout. Importantly, the book casts a powerful light not only on mendacious, and/or negligent Soviet authorities, but also at Western governments and international agencies, such as the IAEA and WHO, who for decades downplayed or concealed the human health effects of Chernobyl. Sadly, in my experience, they continue to do so to this day. Rather than attributing the cover up of Chernobyl’s effects solely to authoritarian regimes, the book points to similarities in the willingnesses of both Soviet and Western governments to sacrifice the healths of workers, the public, and the environment to the perceived need to protect nuclear power. It is a highly readable book too.
Amazon 19th March 2019 read more »