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Agent Sonya -- Paperback (English Language Edition) [Paperback]

by Macintyre, Ben

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In the quiet Cotswolds village of Great Rollright in 1945, an elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted wife and mother-of-three, Mrs Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity.

However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, she was racing through the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific intelligence from one of the country's most brilliant nuclear physicists. Secrets that she would transmit to Soviet intelligence headquarters via the radio transmitter she was hiding in her outdoor privy.

Far from a British housewife, Mrs Burton - born Ursula Kuczynski, and codenamed 'Sonya' - was a German Jew, a dedicated communist, a colonel in Russia's Red Army, and a highly-trained spy. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb, Sonya conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her story has never been told - until now. Agent Sonya is the exhilarating account of one woman's life; a life that encompasses the rise and fall of communism itself, and altered the course of history.

image of Agent Sonya -- Paperback (English Language Edition)
9780241408513
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Item Type English Books (Paperback)
Publication Date 2020/09
Publisher Penguin Books Ltd (GB)
ISBN 9780241408513

DESCRIPTION

A TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'His best book yet' The Times 'Macintyre's page-turner is a dazzling portrait of a flawed yet driven individual who risked everything (including her children) for the cause' Sunday Times DISCOVER THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF THE SPY WHO ALMOST KILLED HITLER - FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE SPY AND THE TRAITOR Ursula Kuczynski Burton was a spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent. Codenamed 'Agent Sonya', her story has never been told - until now. Born to a German Jewish family, as Ursula grew, so did the Nazis' power. As a fanatical opponent of the fascism that ravaged her homeland, Ursula was drawn to communism as a young woman, motivated by the promise of a fair and peaceful society. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, to preventing nuclear war (or so she believed) by stealing the science of atomic weaponry from Britain to give to Moscow, Ursula conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. In Agent Sonya, Britain's most acclaimed historian Ben Macintyre delivers an exhilarating tale that's as fast-paced as any fiction. It is the incredible story of one spy's life, a life that would alter the course of history . . . 'Macintyre does true-life espionage better than anyone else' John Preston 'Macintyre has found a real-life heroine worthy of his gifts as John le Carre's nonfiction counterpart' New York Times 'This book is classic Ben Macintyre . . . quirky human details enliven every page' Spectator

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