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Equipping James Bond

Guns, Gadgets, and Technological Enthusiasm

André Millard

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James Bond’s amazing gadgets reveal both enthusiasm about technology and fear of its potential ramifications.

The popularity of the 007 franchise depends on a seductive formula of sex, violence, and snobbery. Much of its appeal, too, lies in its gadgets: slick, somewhat improbable technological devices that give everyone’s favorite secret agent the edge over his adversaries.

In Equipping James Bond, André Millard chronicles a hundred-year history of espionage technology through the lens of Ian Fleming’s infamous character and his ingenious spyware. Beginning with the creation of MI6, the…

James Bond’s amazing gadgets reveal both enthusiasm about technology and fear of its potential ramifications.

The popularity of the 007 franchise depends on a seductive formula of sex, violence, and snobbery. Much of its appeal, too, lies in its gadgets: slick, somewhat improbable technological devices that give everyone’s favorite secret agent the edge over his adversaries.

In Equipping James Bond, André Millard chronicles a hundred-year history of espionage technology through the lens of Ian Fleming’s infamous character and his ingenious spyware. Beginning with the creation of MI6, the British secret service, Millard traces the development of espionage technology from the advanced weaponry of the nineteenth century to the evolving threat of computer hacking and surveillance. Arguing that the gadgets in the books and films articulate the leading edge of technological awareness at the time, Millard describes how Bond goes from protecting 1950s England from criminal activity to saving a world threatened by nuclear bombs, poison gas, and attacks from space.

As a modern and modernizing hero, Bond has to keep up with the times. His film franchise is committed to equipping both Bond and his adversaries with the latest technological gadgets. Simultaneously, Millard stresses, the villains and threats that Bond faces embody contemporary fears about the downside of technological change. Taking a wide-ranging look at factual (and fictional) technology, Millard views the James Bond universe as evidence for popular perceptions of technological development as both inevitably progressive and apocalyptically threatening.

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Equipping James Bond

André Millard

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Publication Date: June 6, 2023
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Reviews

Reviews

"Equipping James Bond sheds fascinating light on... the weapons and technology depicted throughout the 007 books and films."

One of the best capsulized histories of technology in warfare I've ever read.

Millard's book is a compelling look at how Ian Fleming created James Bond 'in his own image.' It will appeal not only to historians of technology and modern media but also to anyone for whom Bond has been near the forefront of their pop-culture world."

Equipping James Bond is a fascinating study of the silver screen's most enduring fictional character, from an especially resourceful and imaginative historian. With skill and verve, Millard explores the technological web within which Bond operates and reveals the genesis of the evil scientists, assassins, seductresses, and apocalyptic threats he faced.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
224
ISBN
9781421426648
Table of Contents

Introduction
1. The Technological Enthusiasts
2. The Secret Intelligence Service
3. The Great War and the Threat of Modernity
4. Imagining the Future: Technology on Film
5. Spy Films
6. Ian Fleming

Introduction
1. The Technological Enthusiasts
2. The Secret Intelligence Service
3. The Great War and the Threat of Modernity
4. Imagining the Future: Technology on Film
5. Spy Films
6. Ian Fleming, Intelligence Officer
7. Equipment
8. Irregular Warriors
9. The Treasure Hunt
10. Nuclear Anxieties
11. Gadgets
12. Guns
13. The Special Relationship and the Cold War
14. The Technological Revolution
15. Into the Future
16. Keeping up with the Times
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

André Millard

André Millard is a professor of history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author of several books, including The Electric Guitar: A History of an American Icon, also published by Johns Hopkins.