'It reads like fiction, but it is, astonishingly, history.' - The Times In 1917, an eccentric band of British spies is smuggled into newly-Soviet Russia. Their goal? To defeat Lenin's plan to destroy British India and bring down the democracies of the West. These extraordinary spies, led by Mansfield Cumming, proved brilliantly successful. They found a wholly new way to deal with enemies, one that relied on espionage and dirty tricks rather than warfare. They were the unsung founders of today's modern, highly professional secret services. They were also the inspiration for fictional heroes to follow, from James Bond to Jason Bourne.