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James Bond

The smallest, dullest link in the fateful chain binding John F. Kennedy and his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is that both men were big fans of the fictional spy James Bond. In the immediate aftermath of Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, when investigators searched the tiny boarding room in Dallas that Oswald rented for $8 per week, they found the four Bond books that citizen Oswald had assiduously borrowed from a local library.

One of these was From Russia with Love, Ian Fleming’s novel from 1957, which has at its heart the cat-and-mouse relationship between Bond and the crack SMERSH assassin Donovan Grant, who is tasked and determined to take out Bond, and with him the agency he represents.

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09 November 2015

It has been intriguing to watch the culture war surrounding the James Bond franchise. Slowly mobilising for a while now, the lead-up to the latest instalment, Spectre, the twenty-fourth Bond film, and the second directed by Sam Mendes, has seen it kick up a notch. Is the character a misogynist? Is he too violent? Maybe the next Bond should be black – a de ...