Stalin's Englishman

Author(s): Andrew Lownie

Gay Male & Bi Biography/Memoir

A Guardian Book of the Year. The Times Best Biography of the Year. Mail on Sunday Biography of the Year. Daily Mail Biography of Year. 'Andrew Lownie's biography of Guy Burgess, Stalin's Englishman ...shrewd, thorough, revelatory.' William Boyd 'In the sad and funny Stalin's Englishman, [Lownie] manages to convey the charm as well as the turpitude.' Craig Brown Guy Burgess was the most important, complex and fascinating of 'The Cambridge Spies' - Maclean, Philby, Blunt - all brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers. In this first full biography, Andrew Lownie shows us how even Burgess's chaotic personal life of drunken philandering 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 many 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 people who knew Burgess personally, many of whom have never spoken about him before, 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.


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Complicated, revelatory: a superb biography more riveting than a spy novel. Telegraph 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 Not every question has been answered, but most have, and those that remain probably never will be. Independent on Sunday Is there anything significant left to say about members of the Cambridge spy ring, Moscow's 'magnificent five'? The answer, judging by this book, is a resounding yes. Guardian The most comprehensive, readable and faultlessly researched account of one of Britain's most notorious (but colorful) traitors. Now we know just about all there is to know about this wretched man who betrayed friends, family, country... the lot! Nigel West, author of The Secret War For The Falklands An abundance of vivid detail from many different voices, viewpoints and nationalities...Stalin's Englishman is a matchless and splendidly exciting read. The Times This exhaustively researched and absorbing book, the first full biographical study and likely to remain the definitive life. New Statesman A meticulously researched astonishing piece of research. Sunday Times 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 magnificent biography...Burgess has all the right ingredients for an engrossing story and Lownie, who has spent 30 years researching this biography, makes the most of it... a narrative as gripping as a thriller. Daily Express Scrupulous and comprehensive. The Week A masterly biography. Mail on Sunday One of the most important intelligence books in many years. Eye Spy Magazine A fascinating story, racily recounted. The Oldie Andrew Lownie demonstrates that there is plenty still to be learned about enjoyable and convincing biography. Literary Review This deeply researched new biography...Lownie has unearthed much fascinating material...well worth reading. Evening Standard Exhaustive research, elegant construction, psychological acuity, wit and the necessary sympathy. Lownie shows that Burgess's treason was far more significant than had been thought. Spectator Andrew Lownie's biography of Guy Burgess, Stalin's Englishman ... shrewd, thorough, revelatory. -- William Boyd Guardian In the sad and funny Stalin's Englishman, [Lownie] manages to convey the charm as well as the turpitude. -- Craig Brown Guardian The first full biography of Burgess is fascinating on both his methods and his motivation - and proves a more compelling page-turner than any spy thriller. Mail on Sunday


Guy Burgess remains a figure of contention nearly sixty years after his death. He led a life of intrigue and secrecy, keeping everyone in his life at arm's length, never revealing his true self. This poses a challenge for any biographer but author, Andrew Lownie has done an admirable job, uncovering facts and drawing all the strands of Burgess' life together, to give us the most comprehensive portrait yet of Cambridge spy, Guy Burgess. I found this biography riveting from beginning to end. Burgess was such a contradiction- at once part of the establishment, while at the same time working behind the scenes to destroy it. 


Nick  The Book Grocer

Andrew Lownie first became interested in the Cambridge Spy Ring when, as President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1984, he arranged an international seminar on the subject. After graduating from Cambridge University, where he won the Dunster Prize for History, Lownie went on to take a postgraduate degree in history at Edinburgh University. He is now a successful literary agent, and has written or edited seven books, including a biography of John Buchan.

General Fields

  • : 9781473627376
  • : Taylor & Francis Group
  • : Taylor & Francis Group
  • : 0.648
  • : August 2015
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : September 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 3 x 8 page black and white insets
  • : 448
  • : 327.1247041
  • : English
  • : 1015
  • : Paperback
  • : Andrew Lownie