Bond Villains: The Reality Behind the Evil

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Briefing

"Goodbye, Mr. Bond!"—Auric Goldfinger, Goldfinger (1964)

What makes James Bond, codename 007, the greatest secret agent ever? Is it because he can fly airplanes, even space shuttles, drive fast cars, and defuse missiles with seconds to spare all while seducing ladies and maintaining his cool?  Or is it because he has matched his skills against, and defeated, some of the most despicable and extraordinary villains ever imagined? For over fifty years, James Bond villains have fascinated us with their shocking schemes, lavish lairs, and horrid henchmen. Yet, these evil geniuses have also evolved. From the crazed scientist Dr. No in 1962, to the mysterious Raoul Silva in this year’s Skyfall, Bond villains have reflected changing public fears and anxieties. Join intelligence historians, Dr. Alexis Albion,Dr. Christopher Moran, and Dr. Mark Stout, as they revisit the Cold War and its aftermath to explore the connections between Bond villains and the era in which they first wowed audiences. Delving into espionage history, and illuminating the remarkable overlap between spy fact and spy fiction, the speakers will detail the real-life role models for these dastardly evil-doers. Moreover, they will consider to what extent Bond’s adventures have mirrored, or responded to, developments in the real world of intelligence.

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