May 18, 2014

The Zhivago Affair

cover image of The Zhivago Affair
The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book
Peter Finn and Petra Couvee

Last week, we highlighted a book about James Joyce's Ulysses. This week another great novel of the 20th century is the subject of a book as thrilling as any spy novel. Boris Pasternak, a renowned Russian poet, wrote his only novel, Doctor Zhivago, knowing that the chances of it being published in his home country were slim. Only because it was smuggled out and published abroad did the story see the light of day. A worldwide bestseller, the book was translated into many languages but none as important as the CIA's contraband Russian translations smuggled back into the USSR for use as propaganda during the Cold War. A true story of the power of the written word.