World History

"The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book"

Peter Finn

About the Program

Peter Finn talks about the publishing history of Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago."  The manuscript of the book, which was banned in the Soviet Union because of its critical depiction of the 1917 Revolution, was smuggled out of the country in 1956 and published widely around the world.  The CIA, recognizing the ideological value of the book, published a Russian-language version and smuggled it back into the Soviet Union, where it was sold on the black market and became an underground hit.  This event was hosted by the Association of Former Intelligence Officers in McLean, Virginia.   

About the Authors

Peter Finn

Peter Finn is the national security editor for the Washington Post and previously served as the paper's Moscow bureau chief. 


Buy the author's book from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Program Information

"The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book"

Watch This Program
Watch This Program

Purchase This Program

Past Airings

  • Monday, September 22nd at 5:45am (ET)
  • Sunday, August 31st at 11:30pm (ET)
  • Sunday, August 10th at 3:45pm (ET)
Public Affairs Programming on C-SPAN