Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy

November 1, 2020
Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy

The “master storyteller” (San Francisco Chronicle) behind theNew York Times bestseller The Spy and the Traitor uncovers the truestory behind the Cold War’s most intrepid female spy.In 1942, in a quiet village in the leafy English Cotswolds, athin, elegant woman lived in a small cottage with her threechildren and her husband, who worked as a machinist nearby. UrsulaBurton was friendly but reserved, and spoke English with a slightforeign accent. By all accounts, she seemed to be living a simple,unassuming life. Her neighbors in the village knew little abouther.They didn’t know that she was a high-ranking Soviet intelligenceofficer. They didn’t know that her husband was also a spy, or thatshe was running powerful agents across Europe. Behind the facade ofher picturesque life, Burton was a dedicated Communist, a Sovietcolonel, and a veteran agent, gathering the scientific secrets thatwould enable the Soviet Union to build the bomb.This true-life spy story is a masterpiece about the womancode-named “Sonya.” Over the course of her career, she was huntedby the Chinese, the Japanese, the Nazis, MI5, MI6, and the FBI—andshe evaded them all. Her story reflects the great ideological clashof the twentieth century—between Communism, Fascism, and Westerndemocracy—and casts new light on the spy battles and shiftingallegiances of our own times.With unparalleled access to Sonya’s diaries and correspondenceand never-before-seen information on her clandestine activities,Ben Macintyre has conjured a page-turning history of a legendarysecret agent, a woman who influenced the course of the Cold War andhelped plunge the world into a decades-long standoff betweennuclear superpowers.