Christopher Andrew

For Your Eyes Only

Spies and Commissars: Bolshevik Russia and the West

By

Macmillan 440pp £25 order from our bookshop

Robert Service is well known for his impressive biographies of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin. Spies and Commissars is his most vividly written book so far. Its subject is the ‘dynamic interaction between Russia and the West’ during the early years of Bolshevik rule, which, Service argues, was shaped not merely by political leaders on both sides but also by ‘an extraordinary miscellany of people’: spies, commissars, diplomats, reporters, unofficial intermediaries, intellectuals, opportunistic businessmen and casual travellers.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The physical courage he demonstrated as a young man [...] gave way to intellectual power; radical thought, gifted… ,
    • 'While Jane Austen didn’t perhaps achieve the full recognition that she deserved in her lifetime, even then she out… ,
    • 'All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And t… ,
    • 'You are interested in a particular subject; basic research hardens this interest into an obsession, after which th… ,
    • 'Keynes predicted that future generations would enjoy such an improved standard of living that they might work just… ,
    • 'Various dislocations ... emerge, iceberg-like, out of a troubled sea of unconscious motivation and confront Eisenb… ,
    • Today is the first today of the – they've got some excellent events coming up over the next two weeks.… ,