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Marples, David Roger.

Edmonton, University of Alberta Press, 1988. 313pp, paper, ISBN 0-88864-136-2 (cloth) $29.95, 0-88864-141-9 (paper) $18.95. CIP

Grades 12 and up/Ages 17 and up
Reviewed by Catherine Cox

Volume 17 Number 3
1989 May

The introduction gives a description of the Chernobyl plant, how the RBMK reactor differs from the CANDU reactor, and how the accident occurred. The rest of the book is dedicated to the aspects of life that were affected by the disaster—the people, the environment, the economy and political repercussions, the arts, the special zone, and the villages and their reconstruction and restoration.

The author has been very thorough in collecting information from Soviet sources not only at the government level but also from the media and through personal interviews. Rather than present a biased point of view, Marples has perhaps erred on the side of giving everybody's opinion and letting the reader come to his/her own conclusions. This is not an easy book for the uncritical mind.

There are a few black-and-white photographs to illustrate this book. They are not very effective, but I doubt if better illustrations could be found in other sources since western news media were not given very close access to the site at the time of the disaster. There is a good index and an informative table of contents. There is no bibliography, but extensive notes and a list of sources are included.

This book will fill a definite gap in the dearth of accurate information on the Chernobyl disaster. It would be useful in high school as well as university and public libraries.

Catherine Cox, Moncton High School, Moncton, N.B.
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