Four weeks ago the Washington Post published a short binder of CIA documents detailing their involvement in the publication of the novel Dr Zhivago. At the time I duplicated the documents that they published, along with a few other relevant files from the CIA’s archives. A week after the WaPo article the CIA published every last document released under FOIA regarding Dr Zhivago. The question is why.
Why have the CIA voluntarily placed all this information in the public domain? The rumours about their involvement with the book began circulating back in 1958 when they were running the operation, distributing Russian language versions of the book. After effectively denying this for decades they then released these documents to the authors of a forthcoming book The Zhivago Affair. When those authors provided copies to the CIA-affiliated Washington Post the newspaper only published a selection of the files in a non-downloadable format, but the CIA quickly responded by publishing all of them for direct download on their website. Are they boasting about their involvement in this book? Are they trying to gazump the publication of the book about them publishing a book?
It is hard to say. You can download the full collection of CIA documents on Dr Zhivago here (.rar file).