From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Doctor Zhivago (Russian: Доктор Живаго) is a 20th century novel by Boris Pasternak. The novel is named after its protagonist, Yuri Zhivago, a medical doctor and poet. The word zhivago shares a root with the Russian word for life (жизнь), one of the major themes of the novel. It tells the story of a man torn between two women, set primarily against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution of 1917. More deeply, the novel discusses the plight of a man as his life is slowly destroyed by the violence of the revolution. The book was made into a film by David Lean in 1965 and has also been adapted numerous times for television, most recently as a miniseries for Russian TV in 2005.