The Cold War agent of pulp fiction and the hero of more than a dozen movies, James Bond, also known as 007, is one of pop culture’s most recognizable icons. Doubtless better known from film than from Ian Fleming’s novels, the character has become a lightning rod for criticism from all camps. And yet somehow his popularity remains intact.
But who is James Bond? Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007 is an entertaining and revealing examination of the many facets of Bond. Before Bond became a cinematic icon, he was the protagonist of a series of thrillers that appeared during the time of Britain’s decline as a major power and the heating up of the Cold War. Fleming’s character gave expression to biases and anxieties that continue to shape our political worldview in ways both obvious and covert.
Fifteen spirited and engaging essays—all new to this volume—cover topics including Bond’s Britishness, James Bond and JFK, homosexual panic and lesbian Bond-age, the James Bond lifestyle, and Bond’s brands.
The contributors are Alexis Albion, Dennis W. Allen, James Chapman, Edward P. Comentale, Vivian Halloran, Jaime Hovey, Aaron Jaffe, Christoph Lindner, Andrew Lycett, Patrick O’Donnell, Craig N. Owens, Brian Patton, Judith Roof, Stephen Watt, and Skip Willman.