I was reading about the back story to one of my favorite novels, Dr. Zhivago, and discovered upon its publication in Italy, the CIA bought up hundreds of copies to distribute as part of its anti-communist campaign.
Putting that book in the hands of readers is probably the most decent thing that agency has ever done or will ever do in its entire existence.
If you have not that book, I promise you, you’re missing out. If you haven’t read Pasternak and others like him, you cannot understand Russian culture. As one of his friends told him: Don’t forget yourself to the point of believing that it was you who wrote this work. It was the Russian people and their sufferings who created it. Thank God for having expressed it through your pen.
The United States government and most “foreign policy analysts” clearly haven’t, which explains their bafflement over Putin and the political climate in Russia. They don’t understand the Russian psyche.