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This book by renowned Professor of History Jeremy Black presents an insightful and hugely entertaining exploration of the political and cultural context of the Bond books and films. In The World of James Bond: The Lives and Times of 007 (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017), Jeremy Black offers a historian’s interpretation from the perspective of the 21st century, 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 Flemng books as well as the often-neglected novels authored by others after Fleming died in 1964—and films drew on popular fears and anxieties 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 commenced the Bond film series,
thus making him not only a character designed for the American film market but also a world product and a figure of globalization. Professor Black's well-informed and well-argued analysis provides a fascinating history of the enduring and evolving appeal of the character of James Bond.
Professor Jeremy Black MBE, Is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Exeter. And a Senior Associate at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. A graduate of Queens College, Cambridge with a First, he is the author of well over one-hundred books. In 2008 he was awarded the “Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Lifetime Achievement.”
Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, and the University of Rouen’s online periodical Cercles.
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