By Matthews, Owen
The riveting true story of the twentieth century's greatest spymaster, Richard Sorge Richard Sorge was a man with two homelands. Born of a German father and Russian mother in Baku in 1895, he moved in a world of shifting alliances and infinite possibility. Despite fighting for Ge...rmany in the First World War, Sorge, a fanatical Communist, became widely regarded as the Soviet Union's greatest spymaster and was one of the few men of great ability to survive Stalin's Great Purges. Ruthlessly manipulative and charming, a lothario with a reckless streak, Sorge did not have to go snooping to find out closely-guarded state secrets. His victims willingly shared them with him. Sorge 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 Moscow Counteroffensive, which in turn determined the outcome of the war. Although abandoned by his controllers in Moscow when he was captured by the Japanese in 1941, Sorge was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union in 1964. Drawing on declassified Soviet archives, testimonies of victims, as well as those who knew and worked with him, Owen Matthews rescues the story of the man described by Ian Fleming as `the most formidable spy in history.'Read more
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.
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