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A flawed man but a flawless spy, Richard Sorge’s undercover efforts in Tokyo for the Soviet Union during World War II changed history. Despite supplying definitive intelligence that stopped the Nazi advance toward Moscow, he was abandoned in 1941 by his masters in Sugamo Prison and denounced by Soviet officials until the 1960s.

Sorge’s story remains largely unknown to the Western world, but that’s likely to change with a remarkable new biography, “An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent,” by Owen Matthews, published March 21 by Bloomsbury Publishing.

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