Website last updated: 17-9-2019

Equipping James Bond: Guns, Gadgets & Tech Enthusiasm (book)

By: FSWL team
Published:
2019-01-06
Equipping James Bond: Guns, Gadgets, and Technolog
Equipping James Bond: Guns, Gadgets, and Technological Enthusiasm is a new 224-page book written by FSWL reader André Millard, a professor of history at the University of Alabama who previously authored Beatlemania: Technology, Business och Teen Culture in Cold War America and Magic City Nights: Birmingham’s Rock ’n’ Roll Years. The book is published in the UK on 10th January 2019 by Johns Hopkins University Press.

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.

Table of Contents


Chapter 001: The Technological Enthusiasts
Chapter 002: The Secret Intelligence Service
Chapter 003: The Great War and the Threat of Modernity
Chapter 004: Imagining the Future: Technology on Film
Chapter 005: Spy Films
Chapter 006: Ian Fleming, Intelligence Officer
Chapter 007: Equipment
Chapter 008: Irregular Warriors
Chapter 009: The Treasure Hunt
Chapter 010: Nuclear Anxieties
Chapter 011: Gadgets
Chapter 012: Guns
Chapter 013: The Special Relationship and the Cold War
Chapter 014: The Technological Revolution
Chapter 015: Into the Future
Chapter 016: Keeping Up with the Times

Reviews of Equipping James Bond: Guns, Gadgets, and Technological Enthusiasm


“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.” — Robert C. Post, author of Who Owns America's Past? The Smithsonian and the Problem of History

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.” — James P. Kraft, University of Hawaii

“One of the best capsulized histories of technology in warfare I've ever read.” — John Greenya, Washington Times

>Order the book from Amazon UK (Hardcover)
>Order the book from Amazon.com (Kindle edition)

Order Equipping James Bond: Guns, Gadgets, and Technological Enthusiasm from Amazon UK.

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