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The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA and the Battle over a Forbidden Book by Peter Finn and Petra Couvée, book review

“The book has great propaganda value.” So read a 1958 memo to all branch chiefs of the CIA Soviet Union Division. Forget bombs; Dr Zhivago, a meandering epic about the family and loves of a passionate young doctor and poet was going to blow apart communist complacency. Not so much by its subject matter, but by the quashing of the book’s publication in the Soviet Union. The CIA hoped that Soviet citizens would resent Nikita Kruschev and his government for censoring the debut novel of Boris Pasternak, one of their most popular poets.

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