Skip to content
Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

News

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

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

by Peter Finn and Petra Couvee,
The Huffington Post, July 7, 2014

Following her arrest in October, 1949, Olga Ivinskaya, the mistress of Boris Pasternak, was interrogated by Victor Abakumov, Joseph Stalin's minister of state security. Notorious for placing a bloodstained carpet on his office floor to keep it clean while he tortured his victims, Abakumov warned Ivinskaya to think carefully about the novel Pasternak was passing around "at a time when we have quite enough malcontents and enemies as it is." Her fate and that of her lover would depend on her cooperation, he added, before ordering the guard to take Ivinskaya away.

 

Read the full article (PDF)