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CIA officials had rave reviews for Boris Pasternak's classic Russian novel "Doctor Zhivago" – not for its literary merit but as a propaganda weapon in the Cold War, the Washington Post reported.The U.S. intelligence agency saw the book as a challenge to communism and a way to make Soviet citizens question why their government was suppressing one of their greatest writers, according to newly declassified CIA documents that detail the agency's involvement in the book's printing, the Post said. The Soviet government had banned the novel and British intelligence first recognized its propaganda value in 1958, sending the CIA two rolls of film of its pages and suggesting it be spread through the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The CIA wanted to conceal the U.S. role in disseminating "Doctor Zhivago" so it brought in a Dutch publishing house to print Russian-language versions – even though the Italian publisher still held the rights to the book.
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