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Wormwood Forest

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

And she is shocked to discover that the area surrounding Chernobyl has become Europe's largest wildlife sanctuary, a flourishing - at times unearthly - wilderness teeming with large animals and a variety of birds, many of them members of rare and endangered species. Like the forests, fields, and swamps of their unexpectedly inviting habitat, both the people and the animals are all radioactive. Cesium-137 is packed in their muscles and strontium-90 in their bones. But quite astonishingly, they are also thriving. If fears of the Apocalypse and a lifeless, barren radioactive future have been constant companions of the nuclear age, Chernobyl now shows us a different view of the future. A vivid blend of reportage, popular science, and illuminating encounters that explode the myths of Chernobyl with facts that are at once beautiful and horrible, "Wormwood Forest" brings a remarkable land - and its people and animals - to life to tell a unique story of science, surprise and suspense.

Review:

"Mycio takes us on a timely tour of the eerie, surprisingly vigorous area around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that's too radioactive for safe human habitation, yet where, 20 years after the explosion, flora and fauna are 'thriving.' Among abandoned towns, thousands of cormorants nest, and Przewalskis, a breed of wild horse, live seemingly unharmed on irradiated grass. A few people remain: workers decommissioning the plant, bureaucrats and scientists struggling with chronic underfunding, and samosels, elderly squatters so homesick that Ukraine finally let them stay. Mycio, former Kiev correspondent for the L.A. Times, is a good guide, clearly conveying the niceties of radionuclides; the elaborate, jerry-built structures containing the worst of the radiation; and the impossibility of cleaning the place up. She finds occasional humor and plenty of astonishment, as when a herd of red deer cross her path: 'My recorder preserved my inarticulate reaction: 'Super. Wow. My God, they're beautiful!' ' Mycio gives plenty of fuel for the discussion of nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuel. Not all readers will share her cautious optimism, yet her verdict, that Chernobyl is not simply a disaster but a terrible paradox, is convincing. B&w photos, map. Agent, Andrea Pedolsky. (Sept. 6)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

When the explosion ripped through the Number Four reactor complex that fateful day, spewing flames and chunks of burning, radioactive material into the air, one of the world's worst nightmares was realized. As the news gradually seeped out of the former USSR and the extent of the disaster was confirmed, it became clear how terribly wrong things had gone. Dozens died--two from the explosion and many more from radiation illness during the following months--while scores of additional people became ill with acute radiation sickness. The prognosis for Chernobyl and its environs--succinctly dubbed the Zone of Alienation--was grim. But if fears of the Apocalypse and a lifeless, barren radioactive future have been constant companions of the nuclear age, 20 years later Chernobyl shows us a different view of the future. Not only have pockets of defiant local residents remained behind to survive and make a life in the Zone, but the area surrounding Chernobyl has become Europe's largest wildlife sanctuary, a flourishing--at times unearthly--wilderness teeming with large animals, many of them members of rare and endangered species, Like the forests, fields, and swamps of their unexpectedly inviting habitat, both the people and the animals are radioactive. Cesium-137 is packed in their muscles and strontium-90 in their bones. But quite astonishingly, they are also thriving. Donning dosimeter and radioactive protective gear, intrepid journalist Mary Mycio explored the world's only radioactive wilderness. A vivid blend of reportage, popular science, and illuminating encounters that explode the myths of Chernobyl with facts that are at once beautiful and horrible, Wormwood Forest brings a remarkableland--and its people and animals--to life to tell a unique story of science, surprise, and suspense.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780309094306
Author:
Mycio, Mary
Publisher:
Joseph Henry Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Radioisotopes
Subject:
Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, Chornobyl', Ukrai
Subject:
Environmental aspects
Subject:
Chernobyl nuclear accident, chornobyl, ukrain
Subject:
Radioisotopes -- Environmental aspects.
Subject:
History of Science-General
Publication Date:
20050931
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
259
Dimensions:
9.20x6.28x.89 in. 1.14 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Russia » Soviet States Post 1985
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Nuclear

Wormwood Forest New Hardcover
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Product details 259 pages Joseph Henry Press - English 9780309094306 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Mycio takes us on a timely tour of the eerie, surprisingly vigorous area around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that's too radioactive for safe human habitation, yet where, 20 years after the explosion, flora and fauna are 'thriving.' Among abandoned towns, thousands of cormorants nest, and Przewalskis, a breed of wild horse, live seemingly unharmed on irradiated grass. A few people remain: workers decommissioning the plant, bureaucrats and scientists struggling with chronic underfunding, and samosels, elderly squatters so homesick that Ukraine finally let them stay. Mycio, former Kiev correspondent for the L.A. Times, is a good guide, clearly conveying the niceties of radionuclides; the elaborate, jerry-built structures containing the worst of the radiation; and the impossibility of cleaning the place up. She finds occasional humor and plenty of astonishment, as when a herd of red deer cross her path: 'My recorder preserved my inarticulate reaction: 'Super. Wow. My God, they're beautiful!' ' Mycio gives plenty of fuel for the discussion of nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuel. Not all readers will share her cautious optimism, yet her verdict, that Chernobyl is not simply a disaster but a terrible paradox, is convincing. B&w photos, map. Agent, Andrea Pedolsky. (Sept. 6)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , When the explosion ripped through the Number Four reactor complex that fateful day, spewing flames and chunks of burning, radioactive material into the air, one of the world's worst nightmares was realized. As the news gradually seeped out of the former USSR and the extent of the disaster was confirmed, it became clear how terribly wrong things had gone. Dozens died--two from the explosion and many more from radiation illness during the following months--while scores of additional people became ill with acute radiation sickness. The prognosis for Chernobyl and its environs--succinctly dubbed the Zone of Alienation--was grim. But if fears of the Apocalypse and a lifeless, barren radioactive future have been constant companions of the nuclear age, 20 years later Chernobyl shows us a different view of the future. Not only have pockets of defiant local residents remained behind to survive and make a life in the Zone, but the area surrounding Chernobyl has become Europe's largest wildlife sanctuary, a flourishing--at times unearthly--wilderness teeming with large animals, many of them members of rare and endangered species, Like the forests, fields, and swamps of their unexpectedly inviting habitat, both the people and the animals are radioactive. Cesium-137 is packed in their muscles and strontium-90 in their bones. But quite astonishingly, they are also thriving. Donning dosimeter and radioactive protective gear, intrepid journalist Mary Mycio explored the world's only radioactive wilderness. A vivid blend of reportage, popular science, and illuminating encounters that explode the myths of Chernobyl with facts that are at once beautiful and horrible, Wormwood Forest brings a remarkableland--and its people and animals--to life to tell a unique story of science, surprise, and suspense.
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