HISTORY

Agent Sonya

Crown. Sept. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9780593136300. $28. HIST
COPY ISBN
Macintyre (writer-at-large, The Times of London) portrays the life of the astonishingly unexpected woman at the center of a 20th-century true spy story. Ursula Kusczynski, born in Berlin in 1907, was a dedicated Jewish Communist. That alone would have placed her in the middle of the tumultuous 20th-century history of Germany. As Macintyre explains, Kusczynski also was a spy for the Soviet Union: running agents, building radios, and transmitting coded messages in China, Poland, Switzerland, and England before, during, and after World War II. All the while her neighbors thought she was an everyday housewife raising three children. She even survived “retiring” from the KGB, and went on to have a successful career, using a pseudonym, as an East German novelist. Using prodigious research from MI5 and Bundesarchiv files, along with family documents and the cooperation of her children, Macintyre has written an insightful portrait of an amazing life.
VERDICT This fast-paced historical account reads like a novel, with surprising twists and turns, and will thrill readers until the very last page. Readers who enjoy the writings of Neal Bascomb or Candice Millard, and fans of historical fiction will relish this book.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month