Want to know what books Kate Brown recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Kate Brown's favorite book recommendations of all time.
Before Fukushima, the most notorious large-scale nuclear accident the world had seen was Chernobyl in 1986. The fallout from Chernobyl covered vast areas in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Europe. Belarus, at the time a Soviet republic, suffered heavily: nearly a quarter of its territory was covered with long-lasting radionuclides. Yet the damage from the massive fallout was largely imperceptible; contaminated communities looked exactly like... more
Kate BrownShe talks about how Chernobyl disappears from the public eye; how it became a dangerous topic or one to bring up each year only at the anniversary. She writes about how this new invisibility turns to ignorance and how the consequences of Chernobyl have become an area of non-knowledge. The radiation effects dissolved into health problems of non-specific origins. That makes the problem become... (Source)
Kate BrownYou can tell that as one of the first researchers to work in these newly declassified records, that he was really angry, as an American citizen, about what the Manhattan Project legacy meant for the American landscape. That anger translates into really powerful prose. It’s really worth a read. (Source)
The Chernobyl disaster has been variously ascribed to human error, reactor design flaws, and industry mismanagement. Six former Chernobyl employees were convicted of criminal negligence; they defended themselves by pointing to reactor design issues. Other observers blamed the Soviet style of ideologically driven economic and industrial management. In Producing Power, Sonja Schmid draws on interviews... more
Kate BrownShe gives a biography of the development of nuclear power in the Soviet Union and shows the immense challenges involved in managing and sharing this expertise. She does a great job here of discussing in superb and easy-to-read technical detail what an RBMK reactor is, and why the Soviets chose this design among other possible variants. (Source)
In Chernobyl, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy draws on recently opened archives to recreate these events in all their drama, telling the stories of the scientists, workers, soldiers, and... more
Stephen BushIt’s just a really thrilling book, as well as being a really interesting history of that time. But the reason why I think it’s also a brilliant political book is fundamentally what Plokhii reveals in his writing, is that the failure of Chernobyl was fundamentally a failure of a political system, as well as a failure of a scientific system. (Source)
Kate BrownHe’s really good here at laying down the background of the disaster itself, the plant’s construction, the days leading up to it, the moments the accident occurred. He talks about the accident itself, the delay in informing the public, the censorship of news, the trial of the nuclear power plant operators who he thinks were treated as scapegoats, and the political outcomes of all this deception. (Source)
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