An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent

An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent Review

The thrilling true story of Richard Sorge - the man John le Carré called 'the spy to end spies', and whose actions turned the tide of the Second World War

Richard Sorge was a man with two homelands. Born of a German father and a Russian mother in Baku in 1895, he moved in a world of shifting alliances and infinite possibility. A member of the angry and deluded generation who found new, radical faiths after their experiences on the battlefields of the First World War, Sorge became a fanatical communist - and the Soviet Union's most formidable spy.

Like many great spies, Sorge was an effortless seducer, combining charm with ruthless manipulation. He did not have to go undercover to find out closely guarded state secrets - his victims willingly shared them. As a foreign correspondent, he 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 Soviet counteroffensive in the Battle of Moscow, which in turn determined the outcome of the war.

Never before has Sorge's story been told from the Russian side as well as the German and Japanese. Owen Matthews takes a sweeping historical perspective and draws on a wealth of declassified Soviet archives - along with testimonies from those who knew and worked with Sorge - to rescue the riveting story of the man described by Ian Fleming as 'the most formidable spy in history'.

Title:An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent

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    An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent Reviews

  • Steve

    As much as I enjoy reading books on military history, I also enjoy reading books on wartime spies. This was a great as well as an interesting book. Up until I read this book, I never heard of Richard ...

  • Mal Warwick

    Who was the greatest spy of the twentieth century?Was it Kim Philby (1912-88), who served Moscow for three decades? Philby’s revelations led to the execution of numberless British and American agent...

  • Paul

    An absorbing, easy read packed with previously unknown information. Sorge (pronounced Zorgae, as the author told a recent talk) was a fanatical Communist, a hard drinking, womaniser who took crazy ris...

  • Oliver

    The first few hundred pages I found were hard reading but eventually once I got my head around the multiple names and plans I enjoyed this book. It wasn't as 'unputdownable' as a Ben Macintyre book bu...

  • piet van genderen

    Over de Russische superspion Richard Sorge zijn al talloze boeken verschenen, maar de toegang tot voorheen gesloten archieven maakt dit verhaal heel bijzonder. Naast de activiteiten van Sorge en zijn ...

  • David Wasley

    How a charming, ruthless risk taker hoodwinked the intelligence services of Germany, China and Japan and obtained stupendous confidential information. This book is packed with names and details. I did...

  • Liviu

    An excellent biography of the famous soviet spy - read quite a few of them from the (hagiographic but still entertaining ) Russian ones almost four decades ago to more recent western ones and this one...

  • Jane Griffiths

    Richard Sorge, the flawed masterI suppose all spies are flawed masters. Richard Sorge, a German born in Baku, and a spy for Moscow for years in China and then Japan, was one of the true masters. He la...

  • Zack

    A bit clunky in parts, and a slightly tightened up narrative or extra run through from an editor could have taken this from good to great.That said, damn. What a compelling life Richard Sorge led. Tha...

  • Ethan Everhart

    Strongest when it lets Sorge and the other characters speak for themselves, and falls into the trap of a lot of history of the time period of repeating the common anti-USSR narratives of the start of ...