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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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Drawing on newly declassified files, this is the story of how a book forbidden in the Soviet Union became a secret CIA weapon in the ideological battle between East and West. In May 1956, an Italian publishing scout paid a visit to Russia's greatest living poet, Boris Pasternak. He left carrying the 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 would never be published in the Soviet Union, where the authorities regarded it as irredeemable--but he thought it stood a chance in the West and, indeed, it was widely published in translation. Then the CIA smuggled a Russian-language edition into the Soviet Union. Copies were sold on the black market and passed surreptitiously from friend to friend, and Pasternak found himself in no small trouble. But his funeral in 1960 was attended by thousands of admirers who defied their government in order to bid him farewell. The example he set launched the great tradition of the Soviet writer-dissident.--From publisher description.
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
Characteristics: 352 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Peter Finn and Petra Couvée
Contents: Prologue :"This is Doctor Zhivago. May it make its way around the world."
"The roof over the whole of Russia has been torn off."
"Pasternak, without realizing it, entered the personal life of Stalin."
"I have arranged to meet you in a novel."
"You are aware of the anti-Soviet nature of the novel?"
"Until it is finished, I am a fantastically, manically unfree man."
"Not to publish a novel like this would constitute a crime against culture."
"If this is freedom seen through Western eyes, well, I must say we have a different view of it."
"We tore a big hole in the Iron Curtain."
"We'll do it black."
"He also looks the genius: raw nerves, misfortune, fatality."
"There would be no mercy, that was clear."
"Pasternak's name spells war."
"I am lost like a beast in an enclosure."
"A college weekend with Russians"
"An unbearably blue sky"
"It's too late for me to express regret that the book wasn't published."
Summary: Drawing on newly declassified files, this is the story of how a book forbidden in the Soviet Union became a secret CIA weapon in the ideological battle between East and West. In May 1956, an Italian publishing scout paid a visit to Russia's greatest living poet, Boris Pasternak. He left carrying the 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 would never be published in the Soviet Union, where the authorities regarded it as irredeemable--but he thought it stood a chance in the West and, indeed, it was widely published in translation. Then the CIA smuggled a Russian-language edition into the Soviet Union. Copies were sold on the black market and passed surreptitiously from friend to friend, and Pasternak found himself in no small trouble. But his funeral in 1960 was attended by thousands of admirers who defied their government in order to bid him farewell. The example he set launched the great tradition of the Soviet writer-dissident.--From publisher description.
Additional Contributors: Couvée, Petra
ISBN: 9780307908001
0307908003
Branch Call Number: 891.7344 P291f 2014
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 325-335) and index
Subject Headings: Pasternak, Boris Leonidovich, 1890-1960. Doktor Zhivago Pasternak, Boris Leonidovich, 1890-1960 Censorship Authors, Russian 20th century Biography Dissenters Soviet Union Biography Prohibited books Soviet Union History Politics and literature Soviet Union History United States. Central Intelligence Agency History 20th century Soviet Union Foreign relations United States United States Foreign relations Soviet Union Soviet Union Politics and government 1953-1985
Topical Term: Authors, Russian
Dissenters
Prohibited books
Politics and literature
LCCN: 2013033875
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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 tobio (tobio) Last updated 2014/09/24 13:12