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Black shows great initiative in identifying the theme - the politics of James Bond - and writes a useful reference book. But he hasn't finished! The book's structure is a bit dull to follow and too often he summarises Fleming's stories and related events without tying them together in a way that is easy to read. In places it reads like an amalgamation of the author's notes, rather than a flowing text. I enjoyed it and would love to re-read a revised version - then again, this is only because I already found the topic interesting.  

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A Review by James Chapman ,
University of Leicester, UK
There are three kinds of book about James Bond. First, there are the glossy, large-format, analysis-lite 'histories' of the Bond films
, most of which repeat familiar anecdotes about the production of the films and generally endorse received wisdoms about the Bond series (such as Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964) was the archetypal Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Peter R. Hunt, 1969) has been unjustly neglected and the Roger Moore films spoiled Bond by their recourse to comedy). Sometimes, most recently in the case of John Cork's James Bond: The Legacy (Boxtree, 2002), these books have been endorsed by the films' producers and can themselves be seen as part of an 'official' discourse around the films. Then there are the likes of Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott's Bond and Beyond: The Political Career of a Popular Hero (Macmillan, 1987) and the recent collection Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007 (Indiana University Press, 2005), edited by Edward P. Commentale, Stephen Watt and Skip Willman -- highly academicised cultural studies interpretations of the Bond phenomenon that are heavy on the theory and short on anything that resembles crisp, clear prose. Jeremy Black's The Politics of James Bond -- published in hardback by Praeger in 2001 and now making a welcome appearance in paperback -- falls, fortunately, into a third category, one that takes its subject matter seriously and adopts a duly scholarly approach but which is refreshingly free from the jargon of culture-speak and does not require a dictionary of critical theory to rest by the reader's elbow. It is to be hoped that, just as Fleming's novels first appeared as 'quality' hardbacks before being paperbacked, the publication of Black's monograph in paperback will earn it the wider general readership it deserves.......
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