Agnes Smedley

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Agnes Smedley was the author of Battle Hymn of China and a member of this Sorge spy ring of Soviet spies in Tokyo, along with Guenther Stein. Smedley later also contributed to the radical Marxist-Leninist weekly, Guardian (NY).

In 1918, in New York, she joined an Indian revolutionary society financed by Germany. The US placed her in the Tombs Prison for violation of the neutrality law. After the armistice was signed the charges against her were dismissed, but she never forgot and never lost a hatred for the USA. She arrived in Harbin, Manchuria, on January 1, 1929; without knowing the language she immediately began writing "authoritatively" about Chinese politics. According to Shanghai Municipal Police records of 1929, she was in the pay of the Comintern's Far Eastern Bureau. Her job was to make friends and recruit them for the communists, and she acted as liaison four Richard Sorge. The first recruit she brought Sorge turned out to be the most valuable. He was Ozaki Hozumi. It was through Ozaki that Sorge recruited other Japanese to work for him.[1]

Agnes was warmhearted and essentially honest, but she felt she must devote her life to the cause of the Chinese Communists. She not only captivated General Joseph Stilwell but also the British Ambassador, Sir Archibald Clark-Kerr. John Patton Davies was also a great admirer; she was one whom he called "one of the pure in heart." [2]

One of her works is After the Final Victory, published in Asia Magazine and in Hemingway's anthology of war stories.[3]

See also


  1. Toledano, Ralph de. 1952. Spies, Dupes, and Diplomats. Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York. Little, Brown and Company, Boston.
  2. Utley, Freda. 1951. The China Story. Henry Regnery Company. Chicago.
  3. Hemingway, Ernest. 1942. Men at War, The Best War Stories of All Time. Bramhall House, New York.