Agnes Smedley was an American journalist and writer, well known for her semi-autobiographical novel Daughter of Earth as well as for her sympathetic chronicling of the Communist forces in the Chinese Civil War. During World War I, she worked in the United States for the independence of India from the United Kingdom, receiving financial support from the government of Germany.
Subsequently, she went to China, where she is suspected of acting as a spy for the Comintern. As the lover of Soviet super spy Richard Sorge in Shanghai in the early 1930’s, she helped get him established for his final and greatest work as spymaster in Tokyo. She also worked on behalf of various causes including women’s rights, birth control, and children’s welfare.