Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy

Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy

The true story behind the Cold War’s most intrepid female spy.

In 1942, in a quiet village in the leafy English Cotswolds, a thin, elegant woman lived in a small cottage with her three children and her husband, who worked as a machinist nearby. Ursula Burton was friendly but reserved, and spoke English with a slight foreign accent. By all accounts, she seemed to be living a simple, unassuming life. Her neighbors in the village knew little about her.

They didn’t know that she was a high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer. They didn’t know that her husband was also a spy, or that she was running powerful agents across Europe. Behind the facade of her picturesque life, Burton was a dedicated Communist, a Soviet colonel, and a veteran agent, gathering the scientific secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the bomb.

This true-life spy story is about the woman code-named “Sonya.” Over the course of her career, she was hunted by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Nazis, MI5, MI6, and the FBI—and she evaded them all. Her story reflects the great ideological clash of the twentieth century—between Communism, Fascism, and Western democracy—and casts new light on the spy battles and shifting allegiances of our own times.

With unparalleled access to Sonya’s diaries and correspondence and never-before-seen information on her clandestine activities, Ben Macintyre has written a history of a legendary secret agent, a woman who influenced the course of the Cold War and helped plunge the world into a decades-long standoff between nuclear superpowers.

Title:Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780593136300
Format Type:

    Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy Reviews

  • Donna Davis

    Ben Macintyre is a badass writer of narrative nonfiction about lesser known historical figures from the World War II era. I read and reviewed his blockbuster, A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the G...

  • Maine Colonial

    I received a free digital advance reviewing copy from the publisher, via Netgalley.Ben Macintyre has done it again; produced a jaw-dropping book about 20th-century espionage. Sonya, born Ursula Kuczyn...

  • Forthbridge

    Although 'Sonya' is the main subject of the book her two husbands and Richard Sorge are also significant characters and this adds a new dimension to this wonderful account. I have enjoyed all of Macin...

  • Brandon Forsyth

    Ben Macintyre has done it again! I’ll officially follow this author anywhere, this is not just one of my favourite books of the year but potentially one of my favourites of all time. Ursula Kuczynsk...

  • Veeral

    This is the 3rd book by Ben Macintyre that I have read, and I consider all three of those as exceptional works of non-fiction. If you are interested in real-life spies and their spycraft, you can't go...

  • Mal Warwick

    Ben MacIntyre is one of the most prolific producers of nonfiction books about espionage in the English language. Of the thirteen books he’s written to date, nearly all are about spies, saboteurs, an...

  • Stephanie Griffin

    Ben Macintyre writes the best spy biographies! This particular spy, Ursula Burton (alias Sonya) started out in Germany resisting the fascists and ended up being a spy for the Soviet Union in many part...

  • AdiTurbo

    In this age of demagogy and liberal use of truth, it is easy to forget that not very long ago, people actually carried beliefs in various political ideologies, and some politicians made decisions acco...

  • Emily

    Another corker by Ben Macintyre. I have to wonder if I'm being unfair by giving this only four stars, but I have to maintain rank around the amazingly five-star The Spy and the Traitor.In this book, a...

  • Jason Allison

    MacIntyre’s best work. One woman’s amazing life masterfully told. The greatest World War II story I’d never heard of. Perhaps the best non-fiction book I’ve read this year....