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 best-sellers 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-billions of people-have seen a James Bond movie, thus viewing an image of global struggle through Western eyes and obtaining a particular perception of Britain and the world. This fascinating and accessible account of the global phenomenon uses the plots and characterizations in the novels and the blockbuster films to place Bond in a historical, cultural, and political context. 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 007 evolves from Cold 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 look at Bond's world and his lasting legacy offers an intriguing glimpse into both cultural history and popular entertainment.