The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book

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Vintage Books, 2015 - 352 pages

The Zhivago Affair is the dramatic, never-before-told story--drawing on newly declassified files--of how a forbidden book became a secret CIA weapon in the ideological battle between East and West.

In May 1956, an Italian publishing scout went to a village outside Moscow to visit Russia's greatest living poet, Boris Pasternak. He left carrying the manuscript of Pasternak's only novel, suppressed by Soviet authorities. From there the life of this extraordinary book entered the realm of the spy novel. The CIA 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 from friend to friend. Pasternak's funeral in 1960 was attended by thousands who defied their government to bid him farewell, and his example launched the great tradition of the Soviet writer-dissident. First to obtain CIA files providing proof of the agency's involvement, Peter Finn and Petra Couvée take us back to a remarkable Cold War era when literature had the power to stir the world.

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

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alanteder - LibraryThing

The Book That Came In From the Cold Review of the Vintage paperback edition (April 2015) of the original Pantheon hardcover edition (June 2014) I enjoyed the fictionalized version of The Zhivago ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PCorrigan - LibraryThing

Very interesting read, especially for those with an interest in Russian literature and history. Can't add much to the excellent reviews, but I would definitely concur. This is a fascinating and little ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
3
Chapter
11
The roof over the whole of Russia has been torn off
19
Chapter 2
31
Chapter 3
47
Chapter 4
61
Chapter 6
85
Chapter 7
99
There would be no mercy that was clear
161
Chapter 12
179
A college weekend with Russians
211
Chapter 15
227
Chapter 16
243
Afterword
263
A Note on Sources
271
Bibliography
325

Chapter 8
115
Chapter 9
129
Chapter 10
147

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About the author (2015)

Peter Finn is National Security Editor for The Washington Post and previously served as the Post's bureau chief in Moscow.

Petra Couvée is a writer and translator and teaches at Saint Petersburg State University.

The Zhivago Affair is their first collaboration together.

Bibliographic information