On the trail of Soviet infiltrator Stanislav Shumovsky, codenamed Agent BLÉRIOT, Svetlana Lokhova takes the reader on a thrilling journey through Stalin’s most audacious intelligence operation.
On a sunny September day in 1931, Soviet spy Stanislav Shumovsky walked down the gangplank of the SS Europa and into New York, concealed in a group of 65 Soviet students. Joseph Stalin had sent him to acquire American secrets to help close the USSR’s yawning technology gap, and the road to victory began in the classrooms and laboratories of MIT.
Using information gleaned from this mission, the USSR first transformed itself into a military powerhouse able to defeat Nazi Germany. Then in 1947, American innovation exfiltrated by Shumovsky made it possible to build and unveil the most advanced strategic bomber in the world. Later , other MIT-trained Soviet spies would go on to acquire the secrets of the Manhattan Project.
In this thrilling history, Svetlana Lokhova takes the reader on a journey through Stalin’s most audacious intelligence operation, piecing together every aspect of Shumovsky’s life and character using information derived from American and Russian archives.
Svetlana Lokhova is a By-Fellow of Churchill College, University of Cambridge, and was until recently a Fellow of the Cambridge Security Initiative jointly chaired by the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, and Professor Christopher Andrew, former Official Historian of the MI5.
"A superbly researched and groundbreaking account of Soviet espionage in the Thirties. Remarkable."
– The Telegraph (London) [One of the Best Books of the Year in 2018]
"[A] big, ambitious book. There was a chink of light towards the end of Yeltsin’s time, but Putin slammed the door shut on researchers. Few have prized it open again, even an inch. Lokhova is one of those who have—and that is the strength of her book. It contains original material in a genre of retreads."
– The Times (London)
"Well-researched and often breathless. An interesting glimpse into a hitherto obscure Soviet spy ring."
– Kirkus Reviews
"An eye-opening debut. Lokhova delivers a comprehensive account of a crucial yet overlooked chapter in the history of Soviet espionage."
– Publishers Weekly
"Lokhova looks in detail at the role of Stanislav Shumovsky who in 1931 enrolled as a student at the US MIT and helped to acquire the secrets of the Manhattan Project. Well worth a read."