The most current and insightful look at the politics and culture of the Bond world as the last Daniel Craig movie hits theaters.
This book presents an insightful and thoroughly entertaining exploration of the political context of the Bond books and films. Jeremy Black offers a historian’s interpretation from the perspective of 2020 and the latest Bond film, assessing James Bond in terms of the greatly changing world order of the Bond years—a lifetime that stretches from 1953, when the first novel appeared, to the present. Black argues that the Bond novels—the Fleming books as well as the often-neglected novels authored by others after Fleming died in 1964—and films drew on current fears in order to reduce the implausibility of the villains and their villainy. The novels and films also presented potent images of national character, explored the rapidly changing relationship between a declining Britain and an ascendant United States, charted the course of the Cold War and the subsequent post-1990 world, and offered an evolving but always potent demonology. Bond was, and still is, an important aspect of post–World War II popular culture throughout the Western world. This was particularly so after Hollywood launched the filmic Bond, thus making him not only a character designed for the American film market but also a world product and a figure of globalization. Class, place, gender, violence, sex, race—all are themes that Black scrutinizes through the ongoing shifts in characterization and plot. His well-informed and well-argued analysis provides a fascinating history of the enduring and evolving appeal of James Bond. This updated edition explores new developments in the Daniel Craig years, looks to the post-Craig years, and considers the cultural significance of Bond in the modern world.
Jeremy Black is professor emeritus of history at Exeter University. His many books include The Politics of James Bond: From Fleming's Novels to the Big Screen and War and Its Causes.
1 Political Background
2 Changing Values
3 The Later Novels
4 Bond Hits the Screen
5 Moore and Americanization
6 The Dalton Glasnost Years
7 The Brosnan Era
8 The Age of Craig
9 Toward a Bond World
“A thoughtful and uniquely positioned consideration of shifting cultural currents over the last seven decades.” — Publishers Weekly“A worthy addition to the ever-growing literature about the world’s most famous superspy.” — Booklist“A very important study of James Bond, one of the most important literary characters invented during the World War II, and some other lesser known spy characters. Understanding the character of British super spy 007 is like understanding the Cold War. With his impeccable academic credentials, Jeremy Black helps us understand the super spy most of us loved for more than half a century. Many of us still love James Bond. Understanding super spy 007 is also important because we may again slip back into another Cold War era.”— The Washington Book Review
Jeremy Black captures the essence of one of the world’s most influential fictional characters, as well as giving us fascinating and important insights into the changing character of modern culture. Readers will enjoy the fun approach and content of this groundbreaking book, while they learn more about the world that created and has sustained the legend that is 007.
Understanding Bond adds so much to our understanding of contemporary Western culture and history. Jeremy Black has crafted the definitive word on the world of James Bond, from Connery to Craig.
This book reveals the life and times of James Bond set within the life and times ofthe rest of the world, including a sideways view of the Cold War. The world of the movies does not escape Jeremy Black’s forensic eye, with James Bond another gem that he has picked up in his wanderings through the realm of history. Most important, his book is great fun to read.
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