- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Format: Hardback | 378 pages
- Dimensions: 163mm x 239mm x 48mm | 680g
- Publication date: 29 April 2014
- ISBN 10: 1620405687
- ISBN 13: 9781620405680
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps, black & white plates
- Sales rank: 293,436
In 1917, a band of communist revolutionaries stormed the Winter Palace of Tsar Nicholas II--a dramatic and explosive act marking that Vladimir Lenin's communist revolution was now underway. But Lenin would not be satisfied with overthrowing the Tsar. His goal was a global revolt that would topple all Western capitalist regimes--starting with the British Empire. "Russian Roulette" tells the spectacular and harrowing story of the British spies in revolutionary Russia and their mission to stop Lenin's red tide from washing across the free world. They were an eccentric cast of characters, led by Mansfield Cumming, a one-legged, monocle-wearing former sea captain, and included novelist W. Somerset Maugham, beloved children's author Arthur Ransome, and the dashing, ice-cool Sidney Reilly, the legendary Ace of Spies and a model for Ian Fleming's James Bond. Cumming's network would pioneer the field of covert action and would one day become MI6. Living in disguise, constantly switching identities, they infiltrated Soviet commissariats, the Red Army, and Cheka (the feared secret police), and would come within a whisker of assassinating Lenin. In a sequence of bold exploits that stretched from Moscow to the central Asian city of Tashkent, this unlikely band of agents succeeded in foiling Lenin's plot for global revolution.
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Giles Milton is the author of many books including the international bestsellers "Nathaniel's Nutmeg "and "Big Chief Elizabeth. "His other titles include "The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville," "Samurai William: The Englishman Who Opened Japan," and "Wolfram: The Boy Who Went to War. "His website is www.gilesmilton.com and he tweets at @SurviveHistory. He lives in London.
"Milton has a rare ability--a talent for sifting fine pearls from faraway sands and transmuting the merely arcane into little literary gems." --Simon Winchester, "Boston Globe""Giles Milton's research is impeccable and his narrative reads in part like a modern-day Robert Louis Stevenson novel." --"The Times" on "Nathaniel's Nutmeg"