Read time: 2 minutes

Dr. Zhivago As A PsyOps Campaign

I find this story utterly fascinating: Did the CIA fund Boris Pasternak's publishing of a Russian-language version of Dr. Zhivago that helped him

I find this story utterly fascinating: Did the CIA fund Boris Pasternak's publishing of a Russian-language version of Dr. Zhivago that helped him win a Nobel Prize in Literature as a way to foster anti-Russian sentiments among the intellectual elite? That's the allegation alleged by Ivan Tolstoy in a new book. It makes one wonder: what books/other media out there may be CIA-funded psy-ops to influence thinking now? Has anyone audited News Corp.'s books recently?


Into one of the most sordid episodes in Russian literary history, the Soviets' persecution of Boris Pasternak, author of "Doctor Zhivago," a Russian historian has injected a belated piece of intrigue: the CIA as covert financier of a Russian-language edition of the epic novel.

[..]"Pasternak's novel became a tool that was used by the United States to teach the Soviet Union a lesson," (author Ivan) Tolstoy said in a telephone interview from Prague, where he works as a Russian commentator for the U.S. government-funded radio stations. The novelist knew nothing of the CIA's action, according to Tolstoy and the writer's family.

[..]A CIA role in printing a Russian-language edition has been rumored for years. Tolstoy offers the first detailed account of what would rank as perhaps the crowning episode of a long cultural Cold War, in which the agency secretly financed literary magazines and seminars in Europe in an effort to cultivate anti-Soviet sentiment among intellectuals.

[..]Soviet-era documents published in 2001 show that even in unpublished manuscript form it was hardly ignored. "Boris Pasternak's novel is a malicious libel of the USSR," wrote Soviet Foreign Minister Dmitry Shepilov in an August 1956 memo to members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. In a memo of its own, the KGB offered the opinion that "a typical feature of his work is estrangement from Soviet life and a celebration of individualism."

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage


NOTE: We will be changing to a new commenting platform in the next couple of weeks. We will supply more details as we get closer to the change. We understand some users are having problems with comments loading and this will hopefully remedy that problem

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.