Graham Greene

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Graham Greene (1904-1991). The Third Man.
Including Robert Dietrich [E. Howard Hunt] (1918-2007). Steve Bentley Investigates the Washington Murders [The House on Q Street].

Original typescript, 2st copy. 241pp. Bound in red morocco covered boards, black spine and corners w/ original textile bookmark. Moskva: 1972.

At first glance the main interest of this volume in “The Red Samizdat” collection is in finding an unknown production of “The Third Man”. Although certain books from Greene’s body of work were published, it is fairly straight forward to see how an application to translate and publish “The Third Man” would be refused by the Soviet censor. Robert Dietrich happens to have been the pseudonym of a man who would have been of particular interest to the Soviet régime. Howard E. Hunt was the man behind several pseudonyms who wrote hardboiled detective fiction and spy mysteries. He was also a CIA operative and one of the White House plumbers who ‘fixed’ certain things for the White House – most notably the real or perceived distribution of confidential information outside of authorised channels. At the centre of the Watergate Scandal Hunt was personally considered by Nixon as knowing “too much” and eventually served 33 months in prison for his part in the affair. Also of interest is the date of this samizdat, 1972 being the same year as the breaking of the Watergate scandal.
It is very well known that Leonid Brezhnev’s son was an immense fan of American popular and decadent culture, in particular Westerns and Tarzan. Given that he was beyond the grasp of the Secret Services he would have films and books purchased or copied in the West and have them smuggled to him by various means, usually a diplomatic pouch. Literature would also be copied in the embassies abroad to be sent back to Moscow on the premise that they needed to be reviewed. Usually the barely veiled pretence would result in copies being sent to high-ranking officials in the Politburo.

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