The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF A SPY AMONG FRIENDS

He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson.
He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city.
He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. . . .

--Sherlock Holmes on Professor Moriarty in "The Final Problem"

The Victorian era's most infamous thief, Adam Worth was the original Napoleon of crime.  Suave, cunning Worth learned early that the best way to succeed was to steal.  And steal he did.

Following a strict code of honor, Worth won the respect of Victorian society.  He also aroused its fear by becoming a chilling phantom, mingling undetected with the upper classes, whose valuables he brazenly stole.  His most celebrated heist: Gainsborough's grand portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire--ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales--a painting Worth adored and often slept with for twenty years.

With a brilliant gang that included "Piano" Charley, a jewel thief, train robber, and playboy, and "the Scratch" Becker, master forger, Worth secretly ran operations from New York to London, Paris, and South Africa--until betrayal and a Pinkerton man finally brought him down.

In a decadent age, Worth was an icon.  His biography is a grand, dazzling tour into the gaslit underworld of the last century.  .  .  and into the doomed genius of a criminal mastermind.
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More by Ben Macintyre

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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.

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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown
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Published on
Apr 5, 2011
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780307886477
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
History / United States / 19th Century
True Crime / Con Artists, Hoaxes & Deceptions
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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