Sophie Pinkham is a doctoral candidate in Columbia’s Slavic Department and previously worked in public health in Ukraine and Russia. She is the author of Black Square: Adventures in Post-Soviet Ukraine. (April 2019)

IN THE REVIEW

The Chernobyl Syndrome

A worker measuring radiation after the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine, August 1986

Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future

by Kate Brown

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster

by Adam Higginbotham
On the night of April 25, 1986, during a planned maintenance shutdown at the Chernobyl power plant in northern Ukraine, one of the four reactors overheated and began to burn. As plant engineers scrambled to regain control of it, they thought for a moment that there had been an earthquake.