Wilson Center Experts
a historical novel about Stalin, dealing with the period when the whole progressive humankind was, in 1949, celebrating the 70th-birthday of this giant of scholarly thinking. The plot revolves around the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947. According to a legend popular among knowledgeable insiders in Soviet Georgia, the then KGB chief Lavrenti Beria, another genius mind from the area, was keenly interested in the discovery because one of the manuscripts was believed to contain a cryptic description of the whereabouts of the treasures of the Second Jeruslem Temple. Due to this and other reasons, Beria managed to get Stalin interested in the matter. As a result, a small group of Soviet scholars headed by a known0 Georgian Semitologist was sent to Palestine.