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An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent

9781408857816
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE PUSHKIN HOUSE PRIZE

'The most formidable spy in history' IAN FLEMING

'His work was impeccable' KIM PHILBY

'The spy to end spies' JOHN LE CARRÉ

The thrilling true story of Richard Sorge – the man John le Carré called 'the spy to end spies', and whose actions turned the tide of the Second World War

Richard Sorge was a man with two homelands. Born of a German father and a Russian mother in Baku in 1895, he moved in a world of shifting alliances and infinite possibility. A member of the angry and deluded generation who found new, radical faiths after their experiences on the battlefields of the First World War, Sorge became a fanatical communist – and the Soviet Union's most formidable spy.

Like many great spies, Sorge was an effortless seducer, combining charm with ruthless manipulation. He did not have to go undercover to find out closely guarded state secrets – his victims willingly shared them. As a foreign correspondent, he infiltrated and influenced the highest echelons of German, Chinese and Japanese society in the years leading up to and including the Second World War. His intelligence regarding Operation Barbarossa and Japanese intentions not to invade Siberia in 1941 proved pivotal to the Soviet counteroffensive in the Battle of Moscow, which in turn determined the outcome of the war.

Never before has Sorge's story been told from the Russian side as well as the German and Japanese. Owen Matthews takes a sweeping historical perspective and draws on a wealth of declassified Soviet archives – along with testimonies from those who knew and worked with Sorge – to rescue the riveting story of the man described by Ian Fleming as 'the most formidable spy in history'.

Owen Matthews studied Modern History at Oxford University before beginning his career as a journalist in Bosnia. He has written for the Moscow Times, The Times, the Spectator and the Independent. In 1997, he became a correspondent at Newsweek magazine in Moscow where he covered the second Chechen war, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. His first book on Russian history, Stalin's Children, was translated into 28 languages and shortlisted for The Guardian First Books Award and France's Prix Medicis. Owen's first book on Russian history was Stalin's Children, a family memoir, which was published to great critical acclaim in 2008. The book was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Orwell Prize for political writing, and selected as one of the Books of the Year by the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator. It has been translated into twenty-eight languages and was shortlisted for France's Medici Prize and French Elle Magazine's Grand Prix Litteraire, as well as being selected as one of the FNAC chain's twenty featured titles for the Rentree Litteraire of 2009. Owen is currently a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, based in Istanbul and Moscow.

Cover:
Paperback
Edition Number:
1
ISBN:
9781408857816
Pages:
448
Author:
Matthews Owen
Publisher:
BLOOMSBURY
Release Year:
2020

Owen Matthews studied Modern History at Oxford University before beginning his career as a journalist in Bosnia. He has written for the Moscow Times, The Times, the Spectator and the Independent. In 1997, he became a correspondent at Newsweek magazine in Moscow where he covered the second Chechen war, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. His first book on Russian history, Stalin's Children, was translated into 28 languages and shortlisted for The Guardian First Books Award and France's Prix Medicis. Owen's first book on Russian history was Stalin's Children, a family memoir, which was published to great critical acclaim in 2008. The book was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Orwell Prize for political writing, and selected as one of the Books of the Year by the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator. It has been translated into twenty-eight languages and was shortlisted for France's Medici Prize and French Elle Magazine's Grand Prix Litteraire, as well as being selected as one of the FNAC chain's twenty featured titles for the Rentree Litteraire of 2009. Owen is currently a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, based in Istanbul and Moscow.

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