Detailed stories of individual spies are set in the context of the development of the major espionage agencies, interspersed with anecdotes of gadgets, trickery, honeytraps and assassinations worthy of any fictional spy.
A closing section examines the developing New Cold War, as Russia and the West confront each other once again.
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, colorful, tragi-comic wonder.