The adventures and antics of James Bond have provided the world with many of the most gripping story lines of the last half-century. Fleming’s novels were bestsellers in their day, and the Bond films have been even more popular, becoming the most enduring and successful film franchise in history. By some estimates, half of the world’s population has seen a James Bond movieThe adventures and antics of James Bond have provided the world with many of the most gripping story lines of the last half-century. Fleming’s novels were bestsellers in their day, and the Bond films have been even more popular, becoming the most enduring and successful film franchise in history. By some estimates, half of the world’s population has seen a James Bond movie. A fascinating and accessible account of this global phenomenon, The Politics of James Bond uses the plots and characterizations in the novels and the blockbuster films to place Bond in a historical, cultural, and political context. Jeremy Black charts and explores how the settings and the dynamics of the Bond adventures have changed over time in response to shifts in the real-world environment in which the fictional Bond operates. Sex, race, class, and violence are each important factors, as Agent 007 evolves from Cold War warrior to foe of SPECTRE and eventually to world defender pitted against megalomaniacal foes. The development of Bond, his leading ladies, and the major plots all shed light on world political attitudes and reflect elements of the real espionage history of the period. This analysis of Bond’s world and his lasting legacy offers an insightful look at both cultural history and popular entertainment....
|Title||:||The Politics of James Bond: From Fleming's Novels to the Big Screen|
|Number of Pages||:||228 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Politics of James Bond: From Fleming's Novels to the Big Screen Reviews
Jeremy Black is well qualified to write a book on Bond. Encouraged me to want to read Fleming's biography. Fascinating, as is Jeremy's background information of the period covered.
I knew Jeremy Black principally as a military historian, but was pleasantly surprised to find he'd also written a study of the James Bond series. Black examines both the novels (the original works by Ian Fleming, as well as the series' continuation by Kingsley Amis, John Gardner and Raymond Bensen) and the films (focusing on the EON series, but also offering briefer mentions of 1967's Casino Royale and 1983's Never Say Never Again) as these stood by the time of writing (early 1999).As the title indicates, the politics of the series' evolution is the main theme of that examination. Black certainly does the race/class/gender stuff fashionable in academic literary criticism, but his writing in this area is better-grounded than most such studies, and virtually free of obfuscating jargon – in part, I suspect, because being a historian rather than a professional critic, he is less prone to the failings of literary theorists. He also has a strong sense of the appeal of the works, never forgetting that the works he examines are more than objects in which to root around for ever subtler instances of yesteryear's prejudices. His background as a historian also makes him particularly well-positioned to deal with the evolving geopolitics of Britain's position during the period under study.Still, there are ways in which it could have been stronger. There are a number of points where I felt more treatment of a subject was called for, from Fleming's own personal background (certainly a significant influence here) to the scripting of The Spy Who Loved Me (during which the question of approaching the period's politics was a major issue). Additionally, it is the case that any book about a still-continuing series like the Bond novels and films dates quickly. The fact that the book's analysis ends prior to the release of the last two Pierce Brosnan-starring Bond films, and the "reboot" of the series when Daniel Craig replaced him in the role (as well as the political changes of the past decade), means that it leaves a significant amount of territory uncovered. The result is a book that falls short of being definitive, but which is still well worth the while of anyone interested in the evolution of the franchise in its sixty years of existence.
This is really one for the serious James Bond fan; do not even contemplate reading this unless you have seen all the Bond movies up to The World is not Enough and read all of Ian Fleming’s original novels and short stories. A little knowledge of the subsequent Bond novels of Sir Kingsley Amis, John Gardner and Raymond Benson would also help.This is a critical study of the place of the Bond novels and films in the real world. Fleming’s original books began in the fifties when Britain was still – just – in possession of an Empire and had true global influence. By the time of the first Bond movie the sun had finally set upon the Empire and the height of the Cold War had reduced the UK to a supplementary figure on the world stage. This criticism of the UK’s insignificance is often harsh but usually fair and justified. Published at the end of the Twentieth century, it does not feature the Bond films starring Daniel Craig or Sebastian Faulks’s novel Devil May Care. On the whole this is a good reference book for the lover of all things Bond but does sell the UK a little short by granting us the role of insignificance on the world stage. (Our politicians can do that perfectly well in their handling of the Suez crisis or scrapping the Harrier so we will have no planes that can fly from the decks of our aircraft carriers until 2019!)