Author(s): Ben Macintyre
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.
“[Ben] Macintyre is fastidious about tradecraft details. . . . [He] has become the preeminent popular chronicler of British intelligence history because he understands the essence of the business.”—David Ignatius, The Washington Post
“Macintyre writes with novelistic flair.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Macintyre is a superb writer, with an eye for the telling detail as fine as any novelist’s.”—The Dallas Morning News “Macintyre is a master storyteller.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Macintyre is one of the most gifted espionage writers around.”—Annie Jacobsen, author of Area 51 and Operation Paperclip
“Macintyre writes with the diligence and insight of a journalist, and the panache of a born storyteller.”—John Banville, The Guardian
“Macintyre at once exalts and subverts the myths of spycraft, and has a keen eye for absurdity.”—The New Yorker
Ben Macintyre is the multimillion-copy bestselling author of books including Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and A Spy Among Friends. He is a columnist and Associate Editor at The Times, and has worked as the newspaper's correspondent in New York, Paris and Washington. He regularly presents BBC series based on his acclaimed books.