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 CARRE Born of a German father and a Russian mother, Richard Sorge moved in a world of shifting alliances and infinite possibility. In the years leading up to and during the Second World War, he became a fanatical communist - and the Soviet Union's most formidable spy. Combining charm with ruthless manipulation, he infiltrated and influenced the highest echelons of German, Chinese and Japanese society. His intelligence proved pivotal to the Soviet counter-offensive in the Battle of Moscow, which in turn determined the outcome of the war itself. Drawing on a wealth of declassified Soviet archives, this is a major biography of one of the greatest spies who ever lived.



ISBN: 9781408857816
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 448
Publication Date: 5 Mar 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication City, Country: London, United Kingdom
Dimensions (cm): 19.8(H) x 12.9(L)
Weight (gm): 336



A fascinating biography ... Owen Matthews tells the story of Sorge's extraordinary life with tremendous verve and expertise and a real talent for mise en scene ... The portrait of Sorge himself that emerges is richly authentic -- William Boyd * New Statesman *
Gloriously readable ... Every chapter of Matthews's superbly researched biography reads like something from an Eric Ambler thriller -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times *
A superb biography ... More than a hundred books have been written about him and this is undoubtedly the best: detailed, wry, sympathetic and occasionally oddly moving -- Ben Macintyre * The Times *
A vividly told story, thoroughly researched and well-crafted ... I love a thrilling spy story, especially one as superbly narrated as this, full of Bond-like drama about Sorge's brushes with death, his love of fast cars and women ... A highly relevant book for today * Financial Times *
Magnificently written ... An Impeccable Spy is packed with humour and insight and all served up with a rare lightness of touch ... Ben Macintyre and John le Carre fans alike will find themselves very much at home -- Oliver Bullough * Observer *
Vivid and revealing ... Within a few pages, it is clear that An Impeccable Spy is going to be a very good read ... Better than any previous biography -- Christopher Andrew * Literary Review *
A gripping human story with the complexity of a political thriller ... An excellent history, which sheds new light on Sorge and his work. Unless something significant turns up about him in the German Nazi-era intelligence archives, it is likely to be the definitive work on him in English * Standpoint *
Brilliant ... A clear-eyed, deeply researched and finely-judged portrait -- Saul David * Telegraph *
[An] impressive biography ... Matthews captures all the drama of Sorge's story ... The complexities of Soviet, German and Japanese politics and infighting of the time are skilfully navigated and the personalities brought vividly to life. With this book as our evidence, we can say that Sorge was an impeccable spy, and also that Matthews is an impeccable biographer -- Vin Arthey * Scotsman *
Riveting ... An eye-rubbing story * Spectator *
Anyone praised by John le Carre deserves a meticulously researched and atmospheric biography such as Own Matthews' An Impeccable Spy -- Terry Philpot * Tablet *
Riveting ... Owen Matthews sticks to the facts and gives a vivid portrayal of the man and his times ... A cut above -- John Green * Morning Star *


Author Biography

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 twenty-eight languages and shortlisted for The Guardian First Books Award and France's Prix Medicis.
An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin's Master Agent

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