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Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess (Hardback)
  • Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess (Hardback)
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Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess (Hardback)

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Hardback 448 Pages / Published: 10/09/2015
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Guy Burgess was the most important, complex and fascinating of 'The Cambridge Spies' - Maclean, Philby, Blunt - all brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers. In this first full biography, Andrew Lownie shows us how even Burgess's chaotic personal life of drunken philandering did nothing to stop his penetration and betrayal of the British Intelligence Service. Even when he was under suspicion, the fabled charm which had enabled many close personal relationships with influential Establishment figures (including Winston Churchill) prevented his exposure as a spy for many years. Through interviews with more than a hundred people who knew Burgess personally, many of whom have never spoken about him before, and the discovery of hitherto secret files, Stalin's Englishman brilliantly unravels the many lives of Guy Burgess in all their intriguing, chilling, colourful, tragi-comic wonder.

“Complicated, revelatory: a superb biography more riveting than a spy novel.”  - The Sunday Telegraph

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
ISBN: 9781473627369
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 768 g
Dimensions: 237 x 168 x 39 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
An abundance of vivid detail from many different voices, viewpoints and nationalities...Stalin's Englishman is a matchless and splendidly exciting read. * The Times *
This exhaustively researched and absorbing book, the first full biographical study and likely to remain the definitive life. * New Statesman *
A meticulously researched biography...an astonishing piece of research. * Sunday Times *
Complicated, revelatory: a superb biography more riveting than a spy novel. * Sunday Telegraph *
As one of this country's foremost literary agents, Andrew Lownie certainly knows what makes a good book, and in Stalin's Englishman he has delivered one of his own - many times over. * Independent *
Not every question has been answered, but most have, and those that remain probably never will be. * Independent on Sunday *
In this meticulous biography of the most colourful of the quintet, espionage expert Lownie argues convincingly that Burgess - often seen as a clownish buffoon - was the key member of the ring, and his treachery the most damaging. * Observer *
A magnificent biography...Burgess has all the right ingredients for an engrossing story and Lownie, who has spent 30 years researching this biography, makes the most of it... a narrative as gripping as a thriller. * Daily Express *
Scrupulous and comprehensive. * The Week *
Is there anything significant left to say about members of the Cambridge spy ring, Moscow's 'magnificent five'? The answer, judging by this book, is a resounding yes. * Guardian *
A masterly biography. * Mail on Sunday *
'The most comprehensive, readable and faultlessly researched account of one of Britain's most notorious (but colorful) traitors. Now we know just about all there is to know about this wretched man who betrayed friends, family, country... the lot!' * Nigel West, author of The Secret War For The Falklands *
One of the most important intelligence books in many years. * Eye Spy Magazine *
A fascinating story, racily recounted. * The Oldie *
Andrew Lownie demonstrates that there is plenty still to be learned about Burgess...an enjoyable and convincing biography. * Literary Review *
This deeply researched new biography...Lownie has unearthed much fascinating material...well worth reading. * Evening Standard *
Exhaustive research, elegant construction, psychological acuity, wit and the necessary sympathy. Lownie shows that Burgess's treason was far more significant than had been thought. * Spectator *
In the sad and funny Stalin's Englishman, [Lownie] manages to convey the charm as well as the turpitude. -- Craig Brown * Guardian *
Shrewd, thorough, revelatory. -- William Boyd * Guardian *
The first full biography of Burgess is fascinating on both his methods and his motivation - and proves a more compelling page-turner than any spy thriller. * Mail on Sunday *
Awful human beings make for splendid biographies, and the traitor Guy Burgess was a terrible specimen of humanity...This terrible man is brought back to vivid life by this well-researched, finely written book. * Times Best Biographies of Year 2015 *
...a rich combination of spy story, cultural history, social outrage and character portrait. Several recent biographies with an espionage angle have seemed to me despicable in their sensationalism and gullibility but Lownie writes with scepticism, decency and a sharp regard for truth. * Richard Davenport-Hines, BBC History `Books of the Year' *
A biography that reads as compellingly as a fine novel. * Church Times *
There's world-class gossip here. * The Spectator *
This superb biography captures the ambiguity Burgess always inspires. * Daily Mail *
Lownie's research is complete and impeccable. He has unearthed more facts on this case than anyone else writing in the field. Brilliant! * Intelligencer: Journal of US Intelligence Studies *
A comprehensive biography, which convincingly revealed quite how important Burgess was for his KGB handlers. * Country Life *
Lownie's book successfully rescues Burgess from the image he is sometimes given, as little more than a drunken buffoon...a meticulous account of Burgess's life and makes a useful contribution to Cold War intelligence history. * TLS *
An impeccably researched biography, but also as an in-depth cultural study and a spy thriller of genuine, knuckle-gnawing tension. * The Independent *
An astonishing, unique story. * Sarah Bradford, The Tablet *
A remarkable and definitive portrait of the truly ghastly spy and traitor Guy Burgess who should surely never have been permitted to do us so much damage. And a portrait of the snobbery and laxity that permitted an Old Etonian who had changed sides to get away with it for so long. * Frederick Forsyth *
Lownie brilliantly chronicles the life of the man at the centre of the Cambridge spy ring. * Guardian *
Fine biography, packed with detail...impressive primary and secondary research * Wall Street Journal *

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Reviews

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“Superb biography that reads like a thriller”

Imagine spending 20 years researching a book, well this is exactly what Andrew Lownie the country’s foremost literary agent has done with Stalin’s Englishman – The Lives of Guy Burgess.

This is truly an outstanding... More

Hardback edition
29th May 2016
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