***This epic tale about the effects of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath on a bourgeois family was not published in the Soviet Union until 1987.*** One of the results of its publication in the West was Pasternak's complete rejection by Soviet authorities; when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 he was compelled to decline it. ***The book quickly became an international best-seller.***
**Dr. Yury Zhivago, Pasternak's alter ego, is a poet, philosopher, and physician whose life is disrupted by the war and by his love for Lara, the wife of a revolutionary. His artistic nature makes him vulnerable to the brutality and harshness of the Bolsheviks. ***The poems he writes constitute some of the most beautiful writing featured in the novel.*** --------- ***Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak's only novel, is set between the early 1900s and World War II*** and contains complex plot lines and themes, including criticisms of the role of the government in the lives of citizens, and criticisms of the October Revolution and its aftermath. The book had been submitted for publication to Novyi Mir in 1956 and had been initially accepted, but at the last moment its publication was revoked by the authorities. However, a publisher in Milan had received a copy of the typescript from an Italian literary scout operating in Moscow and ***in 1957 the publisher, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, released an Italian-language edition of Doctor Zhivago.*** The CIA, seeing the novel as a potent propaganda tool in the era of the Cold War, acquired a copy of the typescript in the original Russian in the summer of 1958. The agency promptly contacted the **Dutch intelligence services** which **facilitated printing of the novel in the Hague with CIA funds to cover the print run.** One thousand copies of the novel were published by Mouton Publishers but under Feltrinelli's imprint. The copies were **distributed among CIA headquarters and Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, London, Paris, and Brussels.** In 1958 the ***first post-war World's Fair was held in Brussels with Soviet Union and United States building large exhibitions as part of the event.*** As the role of the United States in the publication of the novel could not have been compromised, the CIA turned to the Vatican pavilion to help distribute the books during the fair. The CIA considered the operation to be a great success. However, since **a contract was never signed between the Dutch publisher and Feltrinelli, the latter was furious when he learned about the distribution of the novel in Brussels and threatened legal action**. Mouton issued an apology and agreed to an "indemnity obligation" to print an additional five thousand copies for Feltrinelli Following the success of the first printing of the novel, the ***CIA decided to fund a second print run of seven thousand copies for individuals who would take them into the Soviet Union.*** Each of the copies was stamped as coming from the Societe d'Edition et d'Impression Mondiale, a ***nonexistent French publisher. Further deception was provided by a Russian emigre group in the distribution of the copies.*** ***Even though the scandal sparked interest and rumors, the involvement of the CIA in the publication of the novel was not confirmed until April, 2014.***
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