Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook 2 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (4 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats

OpEdNews Op Eds

How The CIA Made Dr. Zhivago Into A Weapon

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 9   Must Read 6   Supported 5  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 4/8/14

Become a Fan
  (390 fans)
- Advertisement -

Source: Paul Craig Roberts


Cover to the First Edition of Doctor Zhivago, 1957.
(image by Wikipedia)
  DMCA

American Cold War propaganda had little, if anything, to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, by dramatizing Soviet mendacity it made the world blind to Washington's mendacity.

When Soviet authorities refused to publish prominent Soviet writer Boris Pasternak's masterpiece, Dr. Zhivago, the CIA turned it into a propaganda coup. An Italian journalist and Communist Party member learned of the suppressed manuscript and offered to take the manuscript to the Italian communist publisher in Milan, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, who published the book in Italian over Soviet objections in 1957. Feltrinelli believed that Dr. Zhivago was a masterpiece and that the Soviet government was foolish not to take credit for the accomplishment of its greatest writer. Instead, a dogmatic and inflexible Kremlin played into the CIA's hands.

The Soviets made such a stink about the book that the controversy raised the book's profile. According to recently declassified CIA documents, the CIA saw the book as an opportunity to make Soviet citizens wonder why a novel by such a prominent Russian writer was only available abroad.

The CIA arranged for a Russian language edition to be published and distributed to Soviet citizens at the World Fair in Brussels in 1958. The propaganda coup was complete when Pasternak received the Nobel Prize for literature in October 1958.

The use of Pasternak's novel to undermine Soviet citizens' belief in their government continued as late as 1961. That year I was a member of the US/USSR student exchange program. We were encouraged to take with us copies of Dr. Zhivago. We were advised that it was unlikely Soviet customs inspectors would know English and be able to recognize book titles. If asked, we were to reply "travel reading." If the copies were recognized and confiscated, no worry. The copies were too valuable to be destroyed. The custom officials would first read the books themselves and then
sell them on the black market, an efficient way to spread the distribution.

You can read the Washington Post's report here.

- Advertisement -

The declassified CIA documents can be read here.

What strikes me about the CIA memos is how similar the United States government is today to the Soviet government of 1958. The chief of the CIA's Soviet Division described in a July 1958 memo why Dr. Zhivago was a threat to the Soviet government. The threat resided in "Pasternak's humanistic message that every person is entitled to a private life and deserves respect as a human being."

Tell that to the National Stasi Agency and to Homeland Security and to the detainees in Guantanamo and the CIA's torture prisons. In the US individual privacy no longer exists. The NSA collects and stores every email, every credit card purchase, every telephone conversation, every Internet search, every use of social media of every citizen. Pasternak had far more privacy than any American has today. Soviet travelers were not subjected to genital groping and porno-scanners. Penalties Soviet citizens paid for uttering truths inconvenient for the government were no more severe than the penalties imposed on Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden.

Today Russian citizens are more free to have private lives than are Americans, and the Russian press is more lively and more critical of government than the American press. As I wrote in one of my columns, when communist East Germany dissolved, the Stasi moved to Washington.

- Advertisement -

 

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Libya - The DC/NATO Agenda And The Next Great War

The Road to Armageddon

American Job Loss Is Permanent

A Story...The Last Whistleblower

Pakistan TV Report Contradicts US Claim of Bin Laden's Death

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
8 people are discussing this page, with 10 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Nothing will change until over half of us can answ... by Jon Fox on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 4:33:30 PM
yup ... by lila york on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 5:05:36 PM
This is very interesting. Pasternak himself said t... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 4:43:13 PM
Sorry I can't agree that Dr. Zhivago was dull. It ... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 2:51:16 AM
Is there a story behind Florian von Donnersmarck's... by Ad Du on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 6:33:01 PM
We have a similar case of censorship in the West's... by Steve Hudson on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 8:27:18 PM
It was not  the 'Russian experience with the... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014 at 5:06:28 PM
Even if you think YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE you ma... by Lance Ciepiela on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 at 8:28:29 PM
These are the things that alarm so many of us. Th... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 at 3:04:27 AM
Twenty some years ago RATM was condemned for thei... by Julian Lobato on Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014 at 12:32:57 PM