Join us on Thursday, October 1 for an evening with historian and The Times columnist and associate editor, Ben Macintyre. At this exclusive online event, Ben will be discussing his new book, Agent Sonya: Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy the incredible story behind one of the greatest spies of the 20th century.
In a quiet English village in 1942, an elegant housewife emerged from her cottage to go on her usual bike ride. A devoted wife and mother-of-three, the woman known to her neighbours as Mrs Burton seemed to epitomise rural British domesticity.
However, rather than pedalling towards the shops with her ration book, she was racing through the Oxfordshire countryside to gather scientific intelligence from one of the country's most brilliant nuclear physicists. Secrets that she would transmit to Soviet intelligence headquarters via the radio transmitter she was hiding in her outdoor privy.
Far from a British housewife, 'Mrs Burton' - born Ursula Kuczynski, and codenamed 'Sonya' - was a German Jew, a dedicated communist, a colonel in Russia's Red Army, and a highly-trained spy. From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, and helping the Soviet Union build the atom bomb, Sonya conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her story has never been told - until now.
Agent Sonya is the exhilarating account of one woman's life; a life that encompasses the rise and fall of communism itself, and altered the course of history.
Ben Macintyre is the multimillion-copy bestselling author of books including The Spy and the Traitor, SAS: Rogue Heroes, Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and A Spy Among Friends. He regularly presents BBC series based on his acclaimed books.
You can read more about Ben Macintyre's latest book, Agent Sonya, here.
Exclusive subscriber offer:
Agent Sonya: Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy is published by Viking in hardback, ebook and audiobook on September 17 2020, priced £25. Order the hardback book at Waterstones.com at a discounted price of £20 by using the code at checkout (valid until October 10 2020).
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The event will be hosted online and there is no charge to attend. We just ask that you register online as you would with our usual Times+ events. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with further details. Our virtual event provider, Market Partner, will email you on the morning of the event with a unique link at the email address you used to register for your place, and will let us know that you've attended.
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