An Impeccable Spy

Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent

Owen Matthews

320 pages March 2019 manuscript in English Biography

On behalf of: Toby Mundy Associates

‘Owen Matthews tells the story of Sorge’s extraordinary life with tremendous verve and expertise and a real talent for mise en scène’ – William Boyd

Richard Sorge was a Soviet spy during the Second World War who worked, apparently without fear, as an undercover German journalist in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. After a string of intelligence coups − including warning Stalin about Hitler’s plan to attack the Soviet Union − he was captured by the Japanese and executed for espionage.

This book tells for the first time Sorge’s story from the Russian side as well as the German and Japanese. Owen Matthews draws on a wealth of declassified Soviet archives – along with testimonies from those who knew and worked with Sorge – to provide the definitive biography of the man described by Ian Fleming as “the most formidable spy in history”.


“The greatest of 20th century spy stories, whose exploits helped change history.” -Carl Bernstein

“Stalin’s James Bond.” –Le Figaro

“Richard Sorge was the best spy of all time.” –Sunday Times