The Zhivago Affair

The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book

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About THE ZHIVAGO AFFAIR

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.

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“The Zhivago Affair is a sparkling and fascinating account of how one of the most important novels of the 20th century found its way back to Russia, a juggernaut of truth thrust into the Soviet darkness. Peter Finn and Petra Couvée elegantly and authoritatively capture Pasternak’s brilliance, the courage of his friends, and the CIA’s hidden role in bringing the forbidden book to Russian readers.”

David E. Hoffman, author of The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize

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