Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Secret Agents, From Babylonian Tablets To James Bond: How Ian Fleming’s Series Reflects The Real Spy World

British/American historian Amanda Foreman, author of World On Fire, offers a defense of Ian Fleming's James Bond thrillers for the Wall Street Journal.   

James Bond may have won the hearts and wallets of audiences world-wide—“Spectre,” the latest movie in the series, opens Friday after shattering box-office records in the U.K.—but armchair experts have always grumbled that Ian Fleming’s world of spies is too exciting to have any relationship to reality or history.
The critics are wrong. Fleming, who died in 1964, packed his books and plots with real historical allusions, beginning with the secrecy classification “for your eyes only.” The origins of the term go back to the Mesopotamians.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: I highly recommend Amanda Foreman's book on the British role in the American Civil War. 


  1. Thanks, Paul, for your posting. Again, you've given me some great reading-list ideas. BTW, which do you think is the best Bond novel? If I'm going to read Bond, I want to start with the best. And you're obviously the go-to-guy for advice. All the best from R.T. at

  2. R.T.,

    "From Russia With Love, in my view, is the best Ian Fleming James Bond thriller.

    I think "From Russia With Love" is also the best Bond film - and of course Sean Connery is the best Bond.


  3. R.T.,

    Good luck with your new blog -