Chernobyl by Serhii Plokhy wins this year’s Baillie Gifford Prize

The Penguin Press author topped 5 other authors to win the prestigous award. 

Chernobyl by Serhii Plokhy

Penguin Press author Serhii Plokhy has won 2018’s Baillie Gifford prize for non-fiction with book ChernobylHistory of a Tragedy.

The book sees Serhii Plokhy, a Harvard history professor, drawing on recently opened archives to recreate the events of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in all their drama. A moment-by-moment account of the heroes, perpetrators and victims of a tragedy, Chernobyl is the first full account of a gripping, unforgettable Cold War story.

The prize, formerly known as The Samuel Johnson Prize, celebrates the best non-fiction books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. Chernobyl came out on top of this year’s prize, ahead of books from fellow Penguin Random House authors Hannah Fry (Hello World) and Ben MacIntryre (The Spy and the Traitor), winning the £30,000 prize.

Chair of the judges Fiammetta Rocco celebrated the win, calling Chernobyl, 'A great book with a real moral imperative. No one but Serhii Plokhy could have written this.'

Find out why the Baillie Gifford judges chose Chernobyl as their winner:

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more