One of the greatest historians of our generation is heading to Norwich to share the story of events which changed the course of the Cold War.
Ben Macintyre (above) will discuss his new book The Spy And The Traitor when he comes to Norwich Playhouse on June 5.
It follows the life of Colonel Oleg Gordievsky, who headed up the KGB’s London station, and was suddenly summoned to Moscow.
He feared it was the last journey he would make as he was a secret British spy worried his Russian bosses had realized his true allegiance, and he was right.
Cue a real-life story more akin to a John Le Carré novel as he finds himself confronted, drugged and interrogated in Moscow forcing MI6 to mount a daring operation to get him out alive.
Ben enjoyed exclusive access to Oleg as well as the intelligence officers he worked with to draw up a literary picture of how the Russian spy machine saw Britain and how Gordievsky made his extraordinary escape.
What makes his story particularly unusual is that Oleg was a dyed-in-the-wool KGB officer on paper with family in the organization and was brought up in a compound in Moscow peopled entirely by KGB families.
Ben said: “He entirely rebelled against it for a number of reasons. Some were to do with character because he could not bear some aspects of the Communist system. He also witnessed the building of the Berlin Wall which profoundly shocked him as a young man.”
The book itself is the latest to be penned by multi-million-selling author Ben, whose previous books include SAS: Rogue Heroes which is the first authorized history of the SAS, and A Spy Among Friends which unlocks the strong links between Kim Philby and two of his closest friends from MI6 and CI5 who ended up being betrayed by him.
He is also a columnist and Associate Editor at The Times and regularly presents BBC series based on his acclaimed books.
See more about Ben’s novel The Spy and the Traitor below: