The men and women who slip beneath the world's radar and risk their lives for a cause - be it government, belief, country or money - command an irresistible hold over the imagination. In "Nine Lives", Fitzroy Maclean brilliantly tells the true stories of nine remarkable spies. Among them, there is the captivating Mata Hari: the exotic dancer and courtesan, who was executed by firing squad for allegedly spying for Germany during World War I; Richard Sorge: a legend among spies - leader of the Tokyo Espionage Ring and the man who informed Stalin of the German attack on Russia in 1941 weeks before it happened; and Kim Philby - the 'third man' - a prominent member of British Intelligence, a communist and a spy for the KGB.Brimming with drama and adventure, "Nine Lives" separates myth from reality and vividly brings alive the characters and events that surrounded these nine legendary spies.
Before World War II Sir Fitzroy Maclean (1911-1996) served as a diplomat at the British embassy in Moscow, from where he made several notable journeys to Siberia, the Caucasus and Soviet Central Asia. During the war he served in the SAS and was also involved with the Free French forces in Iran. In 1943 he was dropped by parachute into German-occupied Yugoslavia as Winston Churchill's personal envoy and Commander of the British Military Mission to Tito and the partisans. He recorded some of these experiences in 'Eastern Approaches', a classic memoir, which has sold more than a million copies. He wrote many other best-selling books and in addition to serving as Under Secretary for War in the post-war Churchill and Eden governments. Diplomat, soldier, statesman, traveller, writer - a true modern hero - Sir Fitzroy was often put forward as the model for his friend Ian Fleming's 'James Bond', a distinction he neither accepted nor denied.