Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Manual for Survival: An Environmental History of the Chernobyl Disaster by Kate Brown
Click here to purchase the book from Book Culture NYC.

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute and the Columbia University Center for Science and Society for a discussion with Kate Brown, author of Manual for Survival: An Environmental History of the Chernobyl Disaster (W.W. Norton & Co., March 2020). Moderated by Mark Andryczyk (Harriman Institute).

Winner of the Marshall D. Shulman Book Prize
Winner of the Reginald Zelnik Book Prize
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction

“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.

Kate Brown is an award-winning historian of environmental and nuclear history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her previous book, Plutopia, won seven academic prizes. She splits her time between Washington, D.C., and Cambridge Massachusetts.


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