By Sheila Fitzpatrick
In 1968 historian Sheila Fitzpatrick used to be ‘outed’ by way of the Russian newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya as all yet a secret agent for Western intelligence. She was once in Moscow on the time, operating in Soviet files for her doctoral thesis on AV Lunacharsky, the 1st Soviet Commissar of Enlightenment after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.
Despite KGB consciousness, and the impossibility of discovering an appropriate iciness coat, Sheila felt extra relaxed in Moscow than in Britain—a feeling cemented by way of her friendships with Lunacharsky's daughter, Irina, and brother-in-law, Igor, a reform-minded outdated Bolshevik who grew to become a surrogate father and a highbrow mentor. An affair with younger Communist activist, Sasha, pulled her additional right into a international within which she already felt at domestic. For the Soviet gurus and documents, despite the fact that, she could continually be marked as a foreigner, and so very likely a spy.
Punctuated by means of letters to her mom in Melbourne and her diary entries of the time, and borne alongside by way of Fitzpatrick's wry, insightful narrative, A undercover agent within the files captures the lifestyles and occasions of chilly struggle Russia.
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