Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 - Social Science - 267 pages

At a time when the methods and purposes of intelligence agencies are under a great deal of scrutiny, author Wesley Britton offers an unprecedented look at their fictional counterparts. In Beyond Bond: Spies in Film and Fiction, Britton traces the history of espionage in literature, film, and other media, demonstrating how the spy stories of the 1840s began cementing our popular conceptions of what spies do and how they do it. Considering sources from Graham Greene to Ian Fleming, Alfred Hitchcock to Tom Clancy, Beyond Bond looks at the tales that have intrigued readers and viewers over the decades. Included here are the propaganda films of World War II, the James Bond phenomenon, anti-communist spies of the Cold War era, and military espionage in the eighties and nineties. No previous book has considered this subject with such breadth, and Britton intertwines reality and fantasy in ways that illuminate both. He reveals how most themes and devices in the genre were established in the first years of the twentieth century, and also how they have been used quite differently from decade to decade, depending on the political concerns of the time. In all, Beyond Bond offers a timely and penetrating look at an intriguing world of fiction, one that sometimes, and in ever-fascinating ways, can seem all too real.

At a time when the methods and purposes of intelligence agencies are under a great deal of scrutiny, author Wesley Britton offers an unprecedented look at their fictional counterparts. In Beyond Bond: Spies in Film and Fiction, Britton traces the history of espionage in literature, film, and other media, demonstrating how the spy stories of the 1840s began cementing our popular conceptions of what spies do and how they do it. Considering sources from Graham Greene to Ian Fleming, Alfred Hitchcock to Tom Clancy, Beyond Bond looks at the tales that have intrigued readers and viewers over the decades. Included here are the propaganda films of World War II, the James Bond phenomenon, anti-communist spies of the Cold War era, and military espionage in the eighties and nineties. No previous book has considered this subject with such breadth, and Britton intertwines reality and fantasy in ways that illuminate both.

He reveals how most themes and devices in the genre were established in the first years of the twentieth century, and also how they have been used quite differently from decade to decade, depending on the political concerns of the time. And he delves into such aspects of the genre as gadgetry, technology, and sexuality-aspects that have changed with the times as much as the politics have. In all, Beyond Bond offers a timely and penetrating look at an intriguing world of fiction, one that sometimes, and in ever-fascinating ways, can seem all too real.

 

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Contents

The 39 Steps Creating a Genre
1
Maugham Ambler and Greene The Loss of Innocence
21
On the Air on the Screen and in Word Balloons Heroes on Radio and Film before the Cold War
39
McCarthy Television and Film Noir The Russians Arrive
71
Cloak and Swagger James Bond and the Spy Renaissance in the 1960s
99
From George Smiley to Bernard Sampson The CounterFleming Movement
123
The Cold War Inside Out Whose Side Are You On?
147
From the Evil Empire to The Great Satan Spying in the Reagan Years
175
BigScreen Pyrotechnics and Eyes in the Sky Spies in a Technological World
195
Espionage after 911
219
Notes
235
Works Cited
241
Index
249
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Wesley Britton is the author of Spy Television (Praeger, 2004), the first book-length study of espionage television series. He is also the author of several articles for journals, encyclopedias, and periodicals, as well as book reviews and poetry.

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