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The Politics of James Bond: From Fleming's Novels to the Big Screen Hardcover – December 30, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; 1st edition (December 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275968596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275968595
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,732,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Black wears his erudition lightly in demonstrating that the 007 saga is more than melodrama produced for profit. James Bond's durability and renewability as a pop-cultural icon owes much to the successful adaptation of his circumstances and his behavior to both the changing climate of international relations and the changing mores of Britain and the United States."-Dennis Showalter Professor of History Colorado College

Book Description

Uses the plots and characterizations in Fleming's novels and the blockbuster films to place James Bond in a historical and political context.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Robbins on July 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Basically I liked this book, as it does a good job of laying out the political climates of the various times and places in the James Bond novels-not only those by Fleming, but also the many other sequels by Amis, Gardner, et al.-and short stories, as well as all the films up to the third Pierce Brosnan one. I have read all the Fleming stories at least twice each, and will probably do so all over again now that I will be able to keep Jeremy Black's input on the politics surrounding the plots in mind.
However, I am still reeling by the frequency of errors in the book, including wrong names-e.g., he mistakenly calls [Pierce] Brosnan "Bronson" (unless of course I missed a James Bond movie that starred Charles Bronson... I don't think so!)-and he renames the character Tatiana Romanova from the novel and film From Russia, with Love "Natalya"; and heaps of grammatical errors.
This book needed an editor and a fact-checker before it went to print. I sincerely hope the publisher has one of each overhaul this book before it issues the paperback edition!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bill Slocum VINE VOICE on April 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Did you ever wonder whether the world of James Bond was more Manichean or Weberian in its outlook? Did it ever bother you that 007 represents a sort of dying totem for the imperialistic, chauvinistic British empire? Do you look at one of Q's gadgets and ponder the limits of technology, or see Barbara Bach in a silken nightie and wonder about the gender politics of the Bond corpus?

If so, Jeremy Black has written the book for you. "The Politics of James Bond" takes on the political as well as social constructs underlying both the original novels by Ian Fleming, as well as the subsequent films. Given the enormous impact of Bond on world culture for half a century, this seems a worthy enterprise. Black certainly knows his Bond, able to deftly move from plot point to plot point in particular stories and explain what was going on at that moment in the Grand Scheme of Things, either a Cuban missile crisis or a spy ring scandal or the advent of the Pill, to draw appropriate connections.

Black is especially on target, and amusing, when he notes the various ways Bond has been modernized over the years, as when the films, with Timothy Dalton by then playing Bond, took on a Jesuitical strain:

"It was acceptable to have an agent who blew up and shot people at will (and without the concerns of Fleming's Bond), but he was no longer allowed to smoke or have sex, a contrast that reveals much about the nature and impact of modern political correctness."

He takes a similar critical approach to Fleming's novels. It's clear Black admires Fleming's writing, and though he echoes the criticisms of Fleming's Old World snobbery, he is also careful not to attach modern sensibilities to Fleming's often-badly-dated views of racial and sexual differences.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "amdbman" on November 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This was a very interesting book. I liked it a lot. The word "politics" might tend to steer some readers(especialy younger ones) away from this, but don't let that word scare you. A very good book, lots of information. A recomended read from a serious(sometimes refered to as "purist") Bond fan
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By L. S. Brooks on January 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably the best book on the Bond research that I read. If your a Bond or Ian Fleming devote you should buy this book.....Mr. Black does an excellent job of analizing the books and films.......could not put it down until and read all of it...lb
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