- Hardcover: 218 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (August 17, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1442276118
- ISBN-13: 978-1442276116
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The World of James Bond: The Lives and Times of 007
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Black, a British military historian, considers James Bond’s various print and screen incarnations and the villains he has fought over the years from a historical perspective. Introduced to the public in the 1953 novel Casino Royale, Bond was the creation of Ian Fleming, an officer in British naval intelligence during WWII. When the series began, Britain was still an imperial power, Churchill was again prime minister, and the Cold War was underway. Black shows that the ensuing books, and the films that came later, were informed by changing world politics. The villains, whether the Communist Le Chiffre in the novel (but not the screen versions of) Casino Royale, the mafia in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), or the rogue agent of the post–Cold War GoldenEye (1995), reflected contemporary fears. Black places more emphasis on the films than on the novels, aptly comparing the former to a 'very good meal that you already know and love.' Black’s analysis of how a succession of writers and actors have presented Bond over the years goes well beyond being a literary or film retrospective by incorporating sociopolitical grace notes. His survey, which includes a brief piece on how Trump’s America might influence the franchise, serves as a thoughtful and uniquely positioned consideration of shifting cultural currents over the last seven decades. (Publishers Weekly)
The world of James Bond, the author tells us, is one of shifting political and moral realities. Bond, a Cold War spy when he first appeared in literary form in the 1950s, has been faced with some major cultural upheavals (particularly in the 1960s); the challenge, for Bond creator Ian Fleming and for the filmmakers and novelists who have continued telling Bond stories after Fleming’s death, was to allow Bond to adapt to changes in his world while remaining essentially the same person. The most notable change in the Bond series, especially in the movies, was the shift from realism to larger-than-life spectacle; the evil and completely fictional SPECTRE, for example, replaced Fleming’s original villainous spy organization, SMERSH, which had been based on a real Russian intelligence group.... [T]his is a worthy addition to the ever-growing literature about the world’s most famous superspy. (Booklist)
The World of James Bond is 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 BookReview)
Jeremy Black is a scintillating writer who understands our culture brilliantly—his is the definitive take on Britain's Greatest Spy (Rt Hon. Michael Gove, MP)
Fans of James Bond must get hold of this superb book by distinguished historian Jeremy Black. Black explores the enduring global fascination with Ian Fleming’s incredible creation, the legendary superspy 007, who comes to the defense of the Britons in this most recent dangerous dark age. With insight and flair, Black relates the Bond books and movies produced over the past sixty years to today’s kaleidoscopic real-world nightmares of superpower confrontation and international terrorism. In Jeremy Black, Mr. Bond has finally met his match! (John H. Maurer, U.S. Naval War College)
About the Author
Jeremy Black graduated from Cambridge University with a Starred First and did graduate work at Oxford University before teaching at the University of Durham and then at the University of Exeter, where he is professor of history. He has held visiting chairs at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Texas Christian University, and Stillman College. He is a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Black received the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize from the Society for Military History in 2008. His recent books include Naval Warfare: A Global History since 1860, Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: A Global History, and Air Power: A Global History.