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Wormwood Forest: A Natural History of Chernobyl

Extraordinary story of the wildlife sanctuary that has sprung up around Chernobyl

By: Mary Mycio

304 pages, no illustrations

Joseph Henry Press

Hardback | Dec 2005 | #154392 | ISBN: 0309094305
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £18.99 $25/€22 approx

About this book

The utterly extraordinary story of how the zone around Chernobyl has become Europe's largest wildlife sanctuary.

From the publisher's announcement:

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.

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the water became wormwood, and many men died from the water for it was made bitter. Revelation 8-10"


Prologue; 1 Wormwood; 2 Four Seasons; 3 Birding in Belarus; 4 Nuclear Sanctuary; 5 Back to the Wild; 6 Wormwood Waters; 7 Homo chernobylus; 8 The Nature of the Beast; Acknowledgments.

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Mary Mycio was one of the first reporters to visit Kiev in 1989 to do a semi-clandestine interview about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. She later became the Kiev correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and a contributor to a variety of newspapers around the world. She has accumulated reams of material about the disaster's environmental and health effects and has made numerous journeys into the Zone of Alienation.

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