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  • What led to your interest in Chernobyl?

I talk about some of my reasons in the Preface. My Ukrainian immigrant parents raised me to believe that Ukraine was very important even though I had never seen the place before 1989. Ukraine was a republic in the Soviet Union and anti-Communist diaspora Ukrainians did not find it easy to get visas. I also was extremely sensitive to the specter of nuclear war, and was traumatized for several months after a fifth grade teacher warned my misbehaving class that we would die in a nuclear war because we didnt follow instructions. So, when Chernobyl exploded, it touched on some of my deepest emotions love for a country I had never seen and the fears of the atomic age.

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