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Author Debriefing: The Zhivago Affair

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

Rendezvous Info

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Travel back to a time when literature had the power to influence the world. Washington Post national security correspondent and former bureau chief in Moscow, Peter Finn tells the dramatic first account of how a forbidden book in the Soviet Union became a secret CIA weapon in the battle between East and West. In May 1956, an Italian publishing scout smuggled a manuscript out of the USSR entrusted to him with these words from the author: "This is Doctor Zhivago. May it make its way around the world." Pasternak knew his novel would never appear in the Soviet Union, where the authorities regarded it as an assault on the 1917 Revolution, but in 1958, the CIA, secretly printed Doctor Zhivago in Russian and smuggled it into the Soviet Union. It was snapped up on the black market and passed surreptitiously from friend to friend fueling flames of dissent. Finn, will share how he and his co-author used their special access to otherwise classified CIA files, to create an irresistible portrait of the charming and passionate Pasternak and a twisty thriller that takes readers back to a fascinating period of the Cold War.  

Join the author for an informal chat and book signing. NOTE: Time change to 2PM.


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