|Author||Pamela A. Jordan|
Stalin's Singing Spy follows the remarkable life of Nadezhda Plevitskaya, a Russian peasant girl who achieved fame as one of Tsar Nicholas II's favorite singers and infamy as one of Stalin's agents. Pamela A. Jordan traces Plevitskaya's life from her childhood in an isolated village to national stardom. She always declared that she was foremost an artist who sang for all people, regardless of their ideological leanings or socioeconomic background. She claimed throughout her career to be fundamentally apolitical, yet decades later in Europe, Plevitskaya was unmasked as one of Joseph Stalin's secret agents along with her husband, White Russian General Nikolai Skoblin. Their experiences in exile shed light on Stalin's covert operations and the hardships Russian emigres faced in interwar Europe, an era of great political and economic turmoil.
In addition, this book uncovers the roles that the couple played in one of the Soviets' major intelligence coups—the 1937 kidnapping of White Russian General Evgeny Miller in Paris. Jordan recreates Plevitskaya's sensationalized 1938 criminal trial in the Palace of Justice, where she was accused of conspiring to kidnap Miller and portrayed as a Red femme fatale. The first Western biography of Plevitskaya and the first to reconstruct her dramatic trial, this book provides a fascinating window into Soviet-era espionage in interwar Europe.