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The Zhivago Affair

The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over A Forbidden Book
Finn, Peter (Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Zhivago Affair
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Random House, Inc.

Drawing on newly declassified government files, this is the dramatic story of how a forbidden book in the Soviet Union became a secret CIA weapon in the ideological battle between East and West.

In May 1956, an Italian publishing scout took a train to a village just outside Moscow to visit Russia’s greatest living poet, Boris Pasternak. He left carrying the original manuscript of Pasternak’s first and only novel, entrusted to him with these words: “This is Doctor Zhivago. May it make its way around the world.” Pasternak believed his novel was unlikely ever to be published in the Soviet Union, where the authorities regarded it as an irredeemable assault on the 1917 Revolution. But he thought it stood a chance in the West and, indeed, beginning in Italy, Doctor Zhivago was widely published in translation throughout the world.

From there the life of this extraordinary book entered the realm of the spy novel. The CIA, which recognized that the Cold War was above all an ideological battle, published a Russian-language edition of Doctor Zhivago and smuggled it into the Soviet Union. Copies were devoured in Moscow and Leningrad, sold on the black market, and passed surreptitiously from friend to friend. Pasternak’s funeral in 1960 was attended by thousands of admirers who defied their government to bid him farewell. The example he set launched the great tradition of the writer-dissident in the Soviet Union.

In The Zhivago Affair, Peter Finn and Petra Couvée bring us intimately close to this charming, passionate, and complex artist. First to obtain CIA files providing concrete proof of the agency’s involvement, the authors give us a literary thriller that takes us back to a fascinating period of the Cold War—to a time when literature had the power to stir the world.

(With 8 pages of black-and-white illustrations.)



Baker & Taylor
Draws on unique access to classified CIA files to document the role of Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago" in promoting American Cold War agendas in the 1950s, revealing how the CIA helped publish the Soviet-banned book in Russian to an enthusiastic black-market audience.

Baker
& Taylor

Draws on unique access to classified CIA files to document the role of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago in promoting American Cold War agendas in the 1950s, revealing how the CIA helped publish the Soviet-banned book in Russian to an enthusiastic black-market audience. 35,000 first printing.

Authors: Finn, Peter, 1962-
Title: The Zhivago affair
the Kremlin, the CIA, and the battle over a forbidden book
Publisher: New York :, Pantheon Books,, 2014
Edition: First edition
Additional Contributors: Couvée, Petra
ISBN: 0307908003
9780307908001
Branch Call Number: 891.71x PASTE FINN
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Doctor Zhivago, a novel published in translation during the late 1950s by Russian author Boris Pasternak, created a sensation in the West with its negative depiction of the Russian Revolution. The CIA recognized that the book could promote anti-communist sentiment within the Soviet Union, so they arranged to produce copies of the original Russian text and sneak them into Russia. The Zhivago Affair relates the exciting story of how the book-smuggling was accomplished, the severe consequences the Kremlin imposed on Pasternak and his family, and the international controversy aroused by the novel. Publishers Weekly calls this a "triumphant reminder that truth is sometimes gloriously stranger than fiction." History and current events newsletter August 2014.

Jul 26, 2014
  • richibi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

how the Soviets pinned Boris Pasternak on the crucifix of Communism, how ideologies, secular or religious, crush inexorably the human spirit, though sometimes its poetry, like a phoenix, is resurrected to inspire, in a masterpiece

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app09 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41