“The benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.” –A. Bashivi, M. D. Slade, B. R. Levy. (Social Science & Medicine. Vol 164. Sept, 2016)
Jeremy Black offers a historian's interpretation from the perspective of the late 2010s, assessing James Bond in terms of the greatly changing world order of the Bond years--a lifetime that stretches from 1953, when the first novel appeared, to the present. Black argues that the Bond novels--the Fleming books as well as the often-neglected novels authored by others after Fleming died in 1964--and films drew on current fears in order to reduce the implausibility of the villains and their villainy. Class, place, gender, violence, sex, race--all are themes that Black scrutinizes through the ongoing shifts in characterization and plot. His well-informed and well-argued analysis provides a fascinating history of the enduring and evolving appeal of James Bond.
"In An Extraordinary Time, acclaimed economic historian Marc Levinson recounts the global collapse of the postwar economy in the 1970s. While economists struggle to return us to the high economic growth rates of the past, Levinson counterintuitively argues that the boom years of the 1950s and 1960s were an anomaly; slow economic growth is the norm-no matter what economists and politicians may say. Yet these atypical years left the public with unreasonable expectations of what government can achieve. When the economy failed to revive, suspicion of government and liberal institutions rose sharply, laying the groundwork for the political and economic polarization that we're still grappling with today. A sweeping reappraisal of the last sixty years of world history, An Extraordinary Time describes how the postwar economic boom dissipated, undermining faith in government, destabilizing the global financial system, and forcing us to come to terms with how tumultuous our economy really is"--.