Sidney Reilly: Master Spy

Sidney Reilly: Master Spy

by Benny Morris
Sidney Reilly: Master Spy

Sidney Reilly: Master Spy

by Benny Morris


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A revealing biography of Sidney Reilly, the early twentieth-century virtuoso of espionage
“Mr. Morris’s dogged research . . . lends impressive rigor to this portrait of an often-cryptic figure.”—Diane Cole, Wall Street Journal
Sidney Reilly (c. 1873–1925) is one of the most colorful and best-known spies of the twentieth century. Emerging from humble beginnings in southern Russia, Reilly was an inventive multilingual businessman and conman who enjoyed espionage as a sideline. By the early twentieth century he was working as an agent for Scotland Yard, spying on émigré communities in Paris and London, with occasional sorties to Germany, Russia, and the Far East. He spent World War I in the United States, brokering major arms deals for tsarist Russia, and then decided to become a professional spy, joining the ranks of MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence service. He came close to overthrowing the Bolshevik regime in Moscow before eventually being lured back to Russia and executed. Said to have been the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s iconic James Bond character, Reilly was simultaneously married to three or four women and had mistresses galore. Sifting through the reality and the myth of Reilly’s life, historian Benny Morris offers a fascinating portrait of one of the most intriguing figures from the golden age of spies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300248265
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 10/25/2022
Series: Jewish Lives
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 532,131
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Benny Morris is an Israeli historian, formerly professor of history in the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University. He is the author of a dozen books, including 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War and Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881–2001.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations ix

Introduction 1

1 Beginnings 5

2 Reilly Spreads His Wings 19

3 World War One 31

4 The Reilly/Lockhart Plot 49

5 Southern Russia 102

6 Farewell to the SIS 126

7 Savinkov 138

8 Last Days 149

A Look Back-and Forward 163

Bibliographical Note 175

Acknowledgments 181

Index 183

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