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Wesley Britton’s Books, Interviews, and Media Appearances ~
Beyond Bond – Spies in Fiction and Film

By Wesley Britton

Cover – Beyond Bond

Praeger Publishers ~ June 30, 2005

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 Innocence
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 Russians Arrive
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
Works Cited

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 Flick ~

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.

Amazon U.S.
Amazon Canada
Amazon U.K.
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books