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Stalin’s Englishman: The Inside Story of the Cambridge Spy Ring

By Andrew Lownie

This is the story of Guy Burgess, the most important, complex and fascinating of all the ‘Cambridge Spies’.

Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt were all brilliant young men, recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. Burgess – an engaging and charming companion to many, but an unappealing, ruthless manipulator to others – rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5, and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive documents which he passed to his Russian handlers.

In this first full biography, Andrew Lownie shows us how Burgess’s chaotic personal life 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 his 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 acquaintances of Burgess, 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.

Praise for Stalin’s Englishman:

‘A masterly biography … a more compelling page-turner than any spy thriller.’ – Mail 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 meticulously researched biography … an astonishing piece of research.’ – Sunday Times

‘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

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