Back in my CCCP days there were many stories/rumours circulating about her “endeavors.”
A Great read!!
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The “master storyteller” (San Francisco Chronicle) behind the New York Times bestseller The Spy and the Traitor uncovers the true story behind the Cold War’s most intrepid female spy.
“[An] immensely exciting, fast-moving account.”—The Washington Post
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Foreign Affairs • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal
In 1942, in a quiet village in the leafy English Cotswolds, a thin, elegant woman lived in a small cottage with her three children and her husband, who worked as a machinist nearby. Ursula Burton was friendly but reserved, and spoke English with a slight foreign accent. By all accounts, she seemed to be living a simple, unassuming life. Her neighbors in the village knew little about her.
They didn’t know that she was a high-ranking Soviet intelligence officer. They didn’t know that her husband was also a spy, or that she was running powerful agents across Europe. Behind the facade of her picturesque life, Burton was a dedicated Communist, a Soviet colonel, and a veteran agent, gathering the scientific secrets that would enable the Soviet Union to build the bomb.
This true-life spy story is a masterpiece about the woman code-named “Sonya.” Over the course of her career, she was hunted by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Nazis, MI5, MI6, and the FBI—and she evaded them all. Her story reflects the great ideological clash of the twentieth century—between Communism, Fascism, and Western democracy—and casts new light on the spy battles and shifting allegiances of our own times.
With unparalleled access to Sonya’s diaries and correspondence and never-before-seen information on her clandestine activities, Ben Macintyre has conjured a page-turning history of a legendary secret agent, a woman who influenced the course of the Cold War and helped plunge the world into a decades-long standoff between nuclear superpowers.
Available on Amazon
Foreign Affairs Magazine
“Macintyre’s new page-turner is the true story of Ursula Kuczynski, a German Jew, a passionate Communist, and an amazingly efficient Soviet spy code-named “Sonya.” The Soviet agent Richard Sorge recruited Kuczynski in Shanghai in the early 1930s; in the 1940s, she was the handler of the Manhattan Project physicist Klaus Fuchs, who slipped her documents providing the nuclear know-how that proved essential to the Soviet Union’s development of an atomic bomb. Sonya lived a double life, running an extremely perilous spy operation while also being a housewife and a loving mother of three. Like many successful spies, she benefited from incredible luck. When Stalin executed most of his foreign intelligence agents, Sonya was miraculously spared. When her children’s nanny denounced her to the British authorities, they dismissed the nanny’s claims as far-fetched. In 1950, just as MI5 was about to arrest her, she managed to escape to East Germany. She told her Soviet minders there that she would like to end her spy career, and they accepted her decision: a unique case of a Soviet spy granted early retirement. She began a new life as a popular novelist and died in 2000 at the age of 93.”