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Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess

Sunday 10 April 2016

1 Hour


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Author and literary agent Andrew Lownie explains how the spy Guy Burgess was able to rise through the British secret service and act as an agent for the Russians despite a life of drunken philandering.

Lownie’s new book, Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess, is the first full biography of Burgess. Lownie shows how Burgess was able to penetrate the British intelligence service and betray his country despite a life of drunken and indiscrete philandering. Burgess’s fabled charm and friendships with influential establishment figures allowed him to continue unexposed for years. Lownie interviewed more than 100 people who knew Burgess and had access to previously unseen files.

Lownie worked as a bookseller, journalist and literary agent before setting up the boutique Andrew Lownie Literary Agency in 1988. He is also author of a biography of John Buchan and a literary companion to Edinburgh.