'A larger-than-life figure. Extraordinarily handsome, sophisticated and highly resourceful... An ideal poster boy to inspire coming generations of Russian spies... One thing seems clear: the old habits of Russia's security and intelligence services die hard.' The Times Literary Supplement 'This extraordinary biography...is gripping, entertaining and immensely formative. An invaluable memoir for understanding the workings of Soviet intelligence.' Russian Life Magazine 'Bystrolyotov was a remarkable spy even by the standards of an era when much of the world was crawling with intelligence agents... It is impossible to read Stalin's Romeo Spy without reflecting on the cruel and capricious nature of totalitarian regimes.' The Wall Street JournalReseña del editor:
A sailor, artist, lawyer, and writer, fluent in many languages, Bystrolyotov was one of a team of outstanding Soviet spies operating in Western countries between the world wars. He was a dashing man whose Modus Operandi was the seduction of women - among them a French embassy employee, the wife of a British official, and a disfigured Gestapo officer. He stole military secrets from Nazi Germany Fascist Italy and enabled Stalin to look into the diplomatic pouches of many European countries. Idealistically committed to the Motherland, he showed extraordinary courage and physical prowess - twice crossing the Sahara Desert and the jungles of the Congo. But in 1938, at the height of Stalin's purges, Bystrolyotov was arrested and tortured. Sentenced to twenty years of hard labour in the Gulag, he risked more severe punishment by documenting the regime's crimes against humanity. With amazing stamina, he survived the repression and came to realise the true nature of the ideology he once served unquestioningly.
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