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Secret Agents

Popular Icons Beyond James Bond

Jeremy Packer

Why does the secret agent never seem to die? Why, in fact, has the secret agent not only survived the Cold War – which critics and pundits surmised would be the death of James Bond and of the genre more generally – but grown in popularity? Secret Agents attempts to answer these questions as it investigates the political and cultural ramifications of the continued popularity and increasing diversity of the secret agent across television, film, and popular culture. The volume opens with a foreword by Tony Bennett, and proceeds to investigate programs, figures, and films such as Alias, Austin Powers, Spy Kids, the «new» Bond Girl, Flint, Mission Impossible, Jason Bourne, and concludes with an afterword by Toby Miller. Chapters throughout question what it means for this popular icon to have far wider currency and meaning than merely that of James Bond as the white male savior of capital and democracy.
Contents: Tony Bennett: Preface – Jeremy Packer: The Many Beyonds: An Introduction – Kevin J. Hagopian: Flint and Satyriasis: The Bond Parodies of the 1960s – Christine Jacqueline Feldman: Austin Powers: Reinventing the Myth of Mod Spies and Swingers – Matthew Jordan: ’Tween Rockwell and Orwell: The Re-Culturing of Paranoia in the Spy Kids Films – Jeremy Packer/Sarah Sharma: Postfeminism Galore: The Bond Girl as Weapon of Mass Consumption – Miranda J. Brady: The Well-Tempered Spy: Family, Nation, and the Female Secret Agent in Alias – Jack Z. Bratich: Spies Like Us: Secret Agency and Popular Occulture – James Hay: Statecraft, Spycraft, and Spacecraft: The Political Career (and Craft) of a Popular Hero in Outer Space – Toby Miller: Afterword: Why Won’t Spies Go Away?