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*The No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller*
*Shortlisted for the 2018 Baillie Gifford Prize*
*Bill Gates' Top 5 Books for 2020*
'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRÉ
A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians - now with a new afterword
On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket.
The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever...
BEN MACINTYRE'S NEXT BOOK AGENT SONYA IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
'His best book yet' The Times
'Thrilling . . . Macintyre will have you hooked to her life's every twist and turn' Times / Sunday Times Books of the Year
'Macintyre has found a real-life heroine worthy of his gifts as John le Carré's nonfiction counterpart' New York Times
THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF WW2'S MOST EXTRAORDINARY SPY - FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE SPY AND THE TRAITOR
From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, to preventing nuclear war (or so she believed) by stealing the science of atomic weaponry from Britain to give to Moscow, Ursula Kuczynski Burton conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century.
Born to a German Jewish family, as Ursula grew, so did the Nazis' power. A fanatical opponent of the fascism that ravaged her homeland, she was drawn to communism as a young woman, motivated by the promise of a fair and peaceful society. She eventually became a spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent.
In Agent Sonya, Britain's most acclaimed historian vividly reveals the fascinating tale of a life that would change the course of history. Classic Ben Macintyre - a gripping ride, based on meticulous research, that reads like a novel - this is the greatest spy story never told.
'This book is classic Ben Macintyre . . . quirky human details enliven every page' Clare Mulley, Spectator
'Spins gloriously through one of the most extraordinary private lives of the twentieth century' Tony Rennell, Daily Mail Book of the Week
'She is the strongest character of all in Macintyre's bestselling series of wartime tales . . . I raced through the pages to keep up with the plot' Julian Glover, Evening Standard
'This impeccably researched account of her double life spans continents and is brilliantly compelling' Sunday Mirror
'Incredible' Sunday Telegraph
'Superb. Meticulously researched, splendidly told, immensely entertaining' John le Carré
One December night in 1942, a Nazi parachutist landed in a Cambridgeshire field. His mission: to sabotage the British war effort.
His name was Eddie Chapman, but he would shortly become MI5's Agent Zigzag. Dashing and suave, courageous and unpredictable, Chapman was by turns a traitor, a hero, a villain and a man of conscience. But, as his spymasters and many lovers often wondered, who was the real Eddie Chapman?
Ben Macintyre weaves together diaries, letters, photographs, memories and top-secret MI5 files to create an exhilarating account of Britain's most sensational double agent.
The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence - the Bletchley Park code-breakers, MI5, MI6, SOE, Scientific Intelligence, the FBI and the French Resistance. But at its heart was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee, so named because twenty in Roman numerals forms a double cross.
The key D-Day spies were just five in number, and one of the oddest military units ever assembled: a bisexual Peruvian playgirl, a tiny Polish fighter pilot, a Serbian seducer, a wildly imaginative Spaniard with a diploma in chicken farming, and a hysterical Frenchwoman whose obsessive love for her pet dog very nearly wrecked the entire deception. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is here revealed for the first time. Under the direction of an eccentric but brilliant intelligence officer in tartan trousers, working from a smoky lair in St James's, these spies would weave a web of deception so intricate that it ensnared Hitler's army and helped to carry thousands of troops across the Channel in safety.
These double agents were, variously, brave, treacherous, fickle, greedy and inspired. They were not conventional warriors, but their masterpiece of deceit saved countless lives. Their codenames were Bronx, Brutus, Treasure, Tricycle and Garbo. This is their story.
Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all. This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery, class and conscience; of an ideological battle waged by men with cut-glass accents and well-made suits in the comfortable clubs and restaurants of London and Washington; of male friendships forged, and then systematically betrayed.
With access to newly released MI5 files and previously unseen family papers, and with the cooperation of former officers of MI6 and the CIA, this definitive biography unlocks what is perhaps the last great secret of the Cold War.
THE BOOK BEHIND THE MAJOR BBC SERIES
From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author of The Spy and the Traitor, Ben Macintyre, comes the first ever authorized history of the SAS
In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, has a vision for a new kind of war: attacking the enemy where they least expect it - from behind their own lines.
Despite the intense opposition of many in British High Command, Winston Churchill personally gives Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he can find. And so begins the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS.
With unprecedented access to the SAS secret files, unseen footage and exclusive interviews with its founder members, SAS: Rogue Heroes tells the remarkable story behind an extraordinary fighting force, and the immense cost of making it a reality.
'Impeccably researched, superbly told - by far the best book on the SAS in World War II' Antony Beevor
'Told with deceptive brilliance . . . one of the finest books of its kind' Evening Standard
BEN MACINTYRE'S LATEST BOOK AGENT SONYA, THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF THE SPY WHO ALMOST KILLED HITLER, IS AVAILABLE TO BUY NOW
One April morning in 1943, a sardine fisherman spotted the corpse of a British soldier floating in the sea off the coast of Spain and set in train a course of events that would change the course of the Second World War.
Operation Mincemeat was the most successful wartime deception ever attempted, and certainly the strangest. It hoodwinked the Nazi espionage chiefs, sent German troops hurtling in the wrong direction, and saved thousands of lives by deploying a secret agent who was different, in one crucial respect, from any spy before or since: he was dead. His mission: to convince the Germans that instead of attacking Sicily, the Allied armies planned to invade Greece.
The brainchild of an eccentric RAF officer and a brilliant Jewish barrister, the great hoax involved an extraordinary cast of characters including a famous forensic pathologist, a gold-prospector, an inventor, a beautiful secret service secretary, a submarine captain, three novelists, a transvestite English spymaster, an irascible admiral who loved fly-fishing, and a dead Welsh tramp. Using fraud, imagination and seduction, Churchill's team of spies spun a web of deceit so elaborate and so convincing that they began to believe it themselves. The deception started in a windowless basement beneath Whitehall. It travelled from London to Scotland to Spain to Germany. And it ended up on Hitler's desk.
Ben Macintyre, bestselling author of Agent Zigzag, weaves together private documents, photographs, memories, letters and diaries, as well as newly released material from the intelligence files of MI5 and Naval Intelligence, to tell for the first time the full story of Operation Mincemeat.
The rumbustious true story of the Victorian master thief who was the model for Conan Doyle’s Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ arch-rival. From the bestselling author of ‘Operation Mincemeat’ and ‘Agent Zigzag’.
Adam Worth was the greatest master criminal of Victorian times. Abjuring violence, setting himself up as a perfectly respectable gentleman, he became the ringleader for the largest criminal network in the world and the model for Conan Doyle’s evil genius, Moriarty.
At the height of his powers, he stole Gainsborough’s famous portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, then the world’s most valuable painting, from its London showroom. The duchess became his constant companion, the symbol and substance of his achievements. At the end of his career, he returned the painting, having gained nothing material from its theft.
Worth’s Sherlock Holmes was William Pinkerton, founder of America’s first and greatest detective agency. Their parallel lives form the basis for this extraordinary book, which opens a window on the seedy Victorian underworld, wittily exposing society’s hypocrisy and double standards in a storytelling tour de force.
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The amazing tale of a resourceful and unscrupulous early-19th-century American adventurer who forges his own kingdom in the wilds of Afghanistan.
In the year 1838, a young adventurer, surrounded by his native troops and mounted on an elephant, raised the American flag on the summit of the Hindu Kush and declared himself Prince of Ghor, the heir to Alexander the Great.
Josiah Harlan, the first American to set foot in Afghanistan, would become the model for Kipling’s ‘The Man Who Would be King’, but the true story of his life is stranger than fiction. A soldier, spy, doctor, naturalist and writer, Harlan set off into the wilds of Central Asia after a failed love affair in 1820. Following a brief stint as a surgeon in the East India Company’s army, he joined the court of the deposed Afghan monarch Shah Shujah, and then slipped into Kabul disguised as a Muslim priest to foment rebellion. For the next two decades he would play a pivotal role in the bloody politics of the region.
Using a trove of newly discovered documents, including Harlan’s long-lost journals, Ben Macintyre has followed Harlan’s footsteps to uncover an astonishing, untold chapter in the history of the Great Game. If you enjoyed William Dalrymple’s ‘Return of a King’, ‘Josiah the Great’ should be on your reading list.
Winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907, Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) drew upon his experiences in Anglo-Indian Society for much of his writing. This volume presents five of Kipling's best early stories, including "The Phantom Rickshaw," a psychological thriller; "Wee Willie Winkie," a delightful display of love for children; "Without Benefit of Clergy," the poignant story of an Englishmen's affair with an Islamic woman; "The Strange Ride of Morrowbie Jukes"; and the celebrated title story.
One morning in February 1952, a journalist called Ian Fleming sat down at his desk and set about creating a fictional secret agent. James Bond was born and would go on to become one of the most successful, enduring and lucrative creations in literature. But Bond's world of glamour and romance, gadgets and cocktails, espionage and villainy wasn't entirely drawn from imagination: Fleming's background and his experiences as an intelligence officer during the Second World War were all formative parts in the creation of the world's most famous spy.
Packed with astonishing detail and written in Macintyre's inimitable style, For Your Eyes Only is the most enlightening, enlivening book on the creator of the spy who not only lived twice, but proved to be immortal.