Description

A deep-dive into the unique connections between the two titans of the British cultural psyche—the Beatles and the Bond films—and what they tell us about class, sexuality, and our aspirations over sixty dramatic years.

The Beatles are the biggest band in the history of pop music. James Bond is the single most successful movie character of all time. They are also twins. Dr No, the first Bond film, and Love Me Do, the first Beatles record, were both released on the same day: Friday 5 October 1962. Most countries can only dream of a cultural export becoming a worldwide phenomenon on this scale. For Britain to produce two iconic successes on this level, on the same windy October afternoon, is unprecedented.

Bond and the Beatles present us with opposing values, visions of the British culture, and ideas about sexual identity. Love and Let Die is the story of a clash between working class liberation and establishment control, and how it exploded on the global stage. It explains why James Bond hated the Beatles, why Paul McCartney wanted to be Bond, and why it was Ringo who won the heart of a Bond Girl in the end.

Told over a period of sixty dramatic years, this is an account of how two outsized cultural phenomena continue to define American aspirations, fantasies, and our ideas about ourselves. Looking at these two touchstones in this new context will forever change how you see the Beatles, the James Bond films, and six decades of cross-Atlantic popular culture.

About the author(s)

John Higgs is the author of William Blake vs the World (his first book to be published in America) as well as other books published in Britain. John lives in England.

Reviews

"Higgs builds his case around evocative profiles of the Beatles and their fandom and of Bond’s evolving persona and his real-life alter-egos. The result is a thoughtful romp through pop culture that’s full of fresh ideas and sharp connections."

Praise for William Blake vs the World:

“Higgs’s writing is consistently clear and confident...rightly and persuasively emphasizing the primacy and power of the imagination in Blake’s work. It was fun to witness Higgs’s cogs turning, to hear his thoughts ricocheting against the walls of his internal archive of affinities, allusions and absorptions.”

“Higgs’s is a systematizing imagination, able to harness disparate elements and find the patterns that animate them.”

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