The first biography of ‘British Agent’ in Moscow, Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart: new from Elliott & Thompson

March 20, 2024

We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Rogue Agent: From Secret Plots to Psychological Warfare, The Untold Story of Robert Bruce Lockhart by James Crossland, a rich, colourful and compelling history of an unconventional hero who lived during the world’s darkest decades.

We commissioned and acquired World Rights from the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. The book will be published in hardback and eBook on 19th September 2024.

From the jungles of Malaysia to the snowy streets of Moscow, from the private clubs of Prague to secret bases in Bedfordshire, Lockhart’s story is one of scandals and subversion, bitter truths and cunning deceptions, scattered across an age of war, revolution and extremism. Drawn from years of research into private papers and top-secret documents, Rogue Agent is the first biography of Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart: a diplomat, intelligence agent, journalist, author and propagandist. Lockhart was a key figure in both Anglo-Soviet relations in the early stages of the Cold War, and the development of psychological warfare. Yet he died mostly unremembered and near destitute, becoming little more than a footnote in the pages of history.

Rogue Agent puts Lockhart back in the spotlight, chronicling the life of this gifted yet habitually flawed upstart in its entirety, from his time as Britain’s ‘Agent’ in Moscow, when he conspired with MI6’s ‘Ace of Spies’ Sidney Reilly to bring down the Communist regime, to leading the Political Warfare Executive (PWE), a secret body responsible for disinformation and propaganda in the Second World War.
Rogue Agent presents a full account of Lockhart’s life that restores him to the historical record and explains why he never fulfilled the potential others saw in him.

Pippa Crane, Senior Editor at Elliott & Thompson said:

‘Lockhart’s story is a fascinating one, and James has brought it alive with a page-turning narrative that I couldn’t put down. The level of research and historical detail is clear at every turn, and we’re so delighted to be publishing the biography of this important figure.’

James Crossland, author of Rogue Agent, said:

‘After ten years, I’m so happy to have completed Rogue Agent – the story of Robert Bruce Lockhart’s life. He was a fascinating character. Diplomat, conspirator, intelligence gatherer, propagandist, and charmer, Lockhart was one of the most politically well-connected people of the 1930s and 40s, playing a key role in the burgeoning Cold War between Russia and the West and making unsung contributions to Britain’s psychological warfare against the Third Reich. His story, however, has been untold. Until now.’

James Crossland is a Professor of International History at Liverpool John Moores University. He has a long-held interest in the history of terrorism, intelligence and subversion and his previous books include The Rise of Devils: Fear and the Origins of Modern Terrorism and War, Law and Humanity: The Campaign to Control Warfare