Wesley Britton’s Books, Interviews,
and Media Appearances ~
Beyond Bond – Spies in
Fiction and Film
By Wesley Britton
Praeger Publishers ~ June 30,
Format ~ Hard-bound
Pages ~ 300, including photos
ISBN ~ 0-275-98556-3
Price ~ $49.95
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 Fiction and Film, Dr. 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 and 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 Dr. 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.
What’s in Beyond Bond?
Preface and Acknowledgements
Chapter 1 – The 39 Steps: Creating a Genre
Chapter 2 – Maugham, Ambler, and Greene: The Loss of
Chapter 3 – On the Air, on the Screen, and in Word-Balloons:
Heroes on Radio and Film Before the Cold War
Chapter 4 – McCarthy, Television, and Film Noir: The
Chapter 5 – “Cloak and Swagger”: James
Bond and the Spy Renaissance in the 1960s
Chapter 6 – From George Smiley to Bernard Sampson:
The Counter-Fleming Movement
Chapter 7 – The Cold War Inside Out: “Whose Side
Are You On?”
Chapter 8 – From the “Evil Empire” to
“The Great Satan”: Spying in the Reagan Years
Chapter 9 – Big-Screen Pyrotechnics and Eyes in the Sky:
Spies in a Technological World
Conclusion – More Fact Than Fiction: Espionage After 9/11
Photo Essay follows page 146
Endorsements from the Experts ~
Peter Earnest, director of the International Spy Museum,
Washington, D.C. ~
Beyond Bond is a stunning achievement. A scintillating,
sharp-eyed romp over two centures of culture and reality, Wesley Britton
confidently transverses the overlapping spheres of literary fiction, film, and
fact, showing how they have combined and interacted over the decades to
produce ever-evolving, three dimensional portraits of the spy, his shadow
world, and his enemies. Britton demonstrates a finely-tuned, close
acquaintance with the wide array of authors, actors, producers, directors,
eccentrics, books, films and real spies that populate these worlds. And for
good measure, drawing on his earlier, equally well-researched work, Spy
Television, Britton interweaves his sprightly narrative with allusions
to the spy portraits rendered in that medium. A joy to read, it will become
the standard reference.
Bond expert Matt Sherman ~
Wesley Britton has written an original. In Beyond Bond,
he offers pithy insights on both fictional and real espionage, seamlessly
blending discussions of movies, literature, and television. Britton has a
fine spy eye, as he shows how few “degrees of separation”
there are between fact and fiction. Lucid and intelligent, this is a must-read.
Bond theme guitarist Vic
Wes Britton’s Beyond Bond is a must buy for
any spy afficionado worth the radio in his shoe. (Get Smart,
for those youngsters amongst us.)
Wes manages to cram more interesting detail about spies into a book
than one would think possible. I have been closely associated musically
with the film spy movement, James Bond Theme, The Prisoner and
others, for more than 40 years and this book proves how little I knew.
Buy it and enjoy.
WBZ 1030, Boston radio host, Jordan Rich ~
There’s nobody on the planet who knows more about the
spy game in movies and in books than my friend Wes . . . In Beyond
Bond you have really given us not just a great overview of the
movies and television shows, but the writing: the novelists and where
it all began.
How to Get Beyond Bond ~
Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film is available in
bookstores everywhere, as well as these on-line merchants. To go to
the order page, just click on the link.
Barnes & Noble