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The Cultural Impact of James Bond

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published May 5, 2015.

Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one of the most recognizable and successful characters in modern popular culture. The novels have sold over 100 million copies, and the film franchise is the second most successful in history, having been recently displaced by the Harry Potter series. For most readers and viewers, 007 is merely a Western pop icon. However, there is much more at work in the novels and films than appears on the surface. In fact, there are deeper undercurrents, themes, symbols, and messages that operate as psychological warfare propaganda and an in-depth semiotic analysis of the novels and films yields an interpretation that confirms this thesis. Much has been written on the subject of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. From Umberto Eco’s older essay “Narrative Structures in Fleming” to Christoph Linders’ modern collections The James Bond Phenomenon and Revisioning 007: James Bond and Casino Royale,

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