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No Breathing Room: The Aftermath of Chernobyl

Overview

Grigori Medvedev, former chief engineer at Chernobyl and author of the acclaimed The Truth About Chernobyl, now reveals for the first time how censorship has kept us from realizing the full extent of the nuclear disasters that the new republics are facing. In this chilling new book, Medvedev tells how even after Chernobyl, right through most of the Gorbachev era, censorship systematically sought to keep him and the Soviet people from learning key facts about their lethal nuclear power industry. News of accidents ...
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Overview

Grigori Medvedev, former chief engineer at Chernobyl and author of the acclaimed The Truth About Chernobyl, now reveals for the first time how censorship has kept us from realizing the full extent of the nuclear disasters that the new republics are facing. In this chilling new book, Medvedev tells how even after Chernobyl, right through most of the Gorbachev era, censorship systematically sought to keep him and the Soviet people from learning key facts about their lethal nuclear power industry. News of accidents at other plants was carefully manipulated to "shield" people from full awareness of the terrible health and ecological consequences. Mismanagement was covered up. In August 1990, censorship was officially abolished and, as Medvedev puts it, "censorship, the hangman, died. Yet death from radiation is still with us and will pursue and torment people for years to come." An in-depth analysis of the bureaucracy that developed in the Brezhnev period, this book is a personal account of one man's struggle against the system, and against the censor in particular. It is the story of an honest public servant whose work was constantly impeded and withheld from publication by government officials, even during the period known as "glasnost and perestroika." It presents a rare view of Gorbachev's government from the inside, portraying a deeply flawed system whose legacy remains with us. Even though the Soviet Union has collapsed, Medvedev's book remains relevant and vital, for many aspects of the government structure have remained, and the habits of secrecy and disinformation live on.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Medvedev, who presented a shocking eyewitness account of the 1986 nuclear plant disaster in The Truth About Chernobyl , here describes his efforts during the 1970s and '80s to publicize nuclear hazards. A nuclear engineer in the former Soviet Union who was treated for radiation sickness in 1971, he fought the censors, mostly in vain, to publish articles about official cover-ups of nuclear accidents, radioactive contamination of large areas of land and the increasing contamination of air, food and water. Medvedev describes his battle against bureaucracy and censorship in often tedious detail. A stinging indictment of the secrecy, corruption and incompetence that led to the Chernobyl meltdown, this book includes an extensive introduction in which Marples ( The Social Impact of the Chernobyl Disaster ) warns of the dangers of nuclear energy in the post-Soviet world. (Apr.)
Library Journal
For specialists on Soviet censorship, this memoir by the author of The Truth About Chernobyl ( LJ 6/15/90), the first expose of the 1986 disaster published in Russia, will hold considerable interest. Others will find this a somewhat overly detailed account of how Medvedev and a few courageous editors got his book and several short stories dealing with nuclear accidents into print, despite government efforts at a cover-up. Chernobyl and its actual aftermath are peripheral here to Medvedev's struggle to get the word out: a surprisingly undramatic one, compared to what you'd expect from a Soviet Karen Silkwood. For large libraries.-- Robert Decker, Palo Alto, Cal.
Booknews
Medvedev, former chief engineer at Chernobyl and author of The Truth About Chernobyl (Basic Books, 1991), tells how even after Chernobyl, right through most of the Gorbachev era, censorship systematically sought to keep him and the Soviet people from learning key facts about their lethal nuclear power industry. Translated from the Russian. With an introduction by David Marples. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765403490
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Pages: 213

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