Customer Review

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Look Into The Doctor's Black Bag, June 2, 2014
This review is from: The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book (Hardcover)
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I have been under the care of Dr. Yuri Zhivago since the eponymous film by David Lean hit the movie theaters in 1965. The film changed my life in more ways than one. One one level, it introduced me to the complexities of life in Russia and sparked a fascination with that part of the world that still flames to this day. It triggered my desire to dive deeply into the sea of great Russian novels,short stories, poems and plays that. When Pasternak's novel was available to me in English translation, I consumed it. I soon realized that as good as the movie portrayal had been of Dr. Zhivago's life, loves and art, the novel that shook the USSR was richer and broader in its themes and artistry.

Little did I appreciate the cost to Boris Pasternak of writing this work of art that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature and also won him the scorn of his government and many of his colleagues - at least on the surface and in official pronouncements. This book, "The Zhivago Affair," sheds valuable light on the dark intrigues that took place in Russia, Italy, U.S., The Netherlands and Sweden in getting this book into the hands of readers around the world.

Using broad-based research, author Peter Finn reveals the role of the CIA in pushing for publication, and the role of the Kremlin in trying to squelch Pasternak and his treasonous novel. There is a dense cast of players - fellow writers, publishers, government functionaries, family members and clandestine operatives. There is also a fascinating examination of the widely divergent views of artistic freedom and propaganda - as seen from both sides of the Iron Curtain.

The book is as well written as it is meticulously researched. I am grateful for the role that this book plays in drawing aside the curtain and revealing how one of the great works of literature of the 20th century came to see the light of day.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 22, 2014 5:27:14 AM PDT
Lola Lalo says:
Beautiful Review!

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 10:53:53 PM PST
tm says:
Nice to read a fellow Dr. Zhivago admirer's review. I just really appreciate your personal history with the movie, book, Russian lit. A nice thing is that this passion I have for the subject has lasted all these decades. I was 14 I think when the film came out. Now, as a granny in her 60s, I can continue to enjoy, but better.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2014 7:26:18 AM PST
So glad to hear from a fellow Zhivago fan. Are you aware that a musical version is coming to Broadway?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2014 12:24:37 PM PST
tm says:
No! It's hard to imagine unless Stephen Sondheim is doing it.
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Location: Boston, MA

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