"This is a compelling and important book . . . [that] makes a significant contribution not only to studies of Bond and Ian Fleming but also to studies of popular culture in general." —Michael Bérubé
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.
I. The Subject Is Bond
1. Fleming's Company Man: James Bond and the Management of Modernism Edward P. Comentale
2. "Alimentary, Dr. Leiter": Anal Anxiety in Diamonds Are Forever Dennis W. Allen
3. Lesbian Bondage, or Why Dykes Like 007 Jaime Hovey
4. James Bond: Cyborg-Aristocrat Patrick O'Donnell
II. Ian Fleming and Style
5. Living the James Bond Lifestyle Judith Roof
6. James Bond, Meta-Brand Aaron Jaffe
7. The Bond Market Craig N. Owens
III. Ian Fleming and the Global Imaginary
8. Bond and Britishness James Chapman
9. Shoot Back in Anger: Bond and the "Angry Young Man" Brian Patton
10. Tropical Bond Vivian Halloran
11. The Kennedys, Fleming, and Cuba: Bond's Foreign Policy Skip Willman
12. Wanting to Be James Bond Alexis Albion
IV. Structures of Feeling
13. Why Size Matters Christoph Lindner
14. 007 and 9/11, Specters and Structures of Feeling Stephen Watt
"[O]ffers some searching reflections on aspects of the Bond phenomenon.2.2"~Journal of British Cinema and Television
"[A]n entertaining and revealing examination of the many facets of Bond."~Artistic License Renewed
"[A]. . . strong collection . . . lends itself to the pleasure of unexpected insights . . .convincing . . . brilliant leadoff . . . does full justice to Fleming's literary contribution . . . Volume 54, Number 4, Winter 2008"~Andrew Hoberek, Project MUSE (MFS Modern Fiction Studies)