The playboy and James Bond

007, Ian Fleming and Playboy magazine

Author: Claire Hines

The Playboy magazine has always reminded its readership of the Playboy-Bond connection by commenting on its longevity and significance, especially in relation to times past. Among other things that James Bond and Playboy have in common is the fact that they are both strongly associated with the sixties. They were launched at about the same time in 1953, and are still around. This book is primarily organised around the story of the relationship between them, played out in popular culture as part of wider cultural relations. Though the chapters outline the emergence of the Playboy-Bond relationship, they also draw on relevant historical and theoretical concerns. The research presented focuses on the public version of the Playboy-Bond relationship as mediated by Bond and Playboy magazine and evident within the shifting realms of culture and the media. It also discusses how the close relationship between Ian Fleming and Playboy was publicised in print with some form of commentary. How Fleming and the Bond novels endorsed Playboy, and how Playboy endorsed Ian Fleming and Bond novels, against the backdrop of American popular culture, is discussed. After discussing Connery's Bond, the book presents some illustrative examples of this connection, especially in terms of consumer preferences, style and taste. It draws together arguments on male fantasy of 'strategic and selective "liberation" of women in order to discuss the women in Bond and Playboy. Finally, the book considers how the two remain interconnected, and as long-standing cultural icons representing the playboy lifestyle fantasy.

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‘This book engages a range of topic relevant to university courses in fields such as English, History and Cultural Studies. It will also appeal to fans of Bond and popular culture. The playboy and James Bond is concise, fluent and eminently readable, striking the right balance between sharp analysis and telling a compelling story.'
Professor Christoph Linder, University of Oregon

‘The more fascinating part of Hines’s analysis, however, goes beyond the two enterprises’ mutual boosting to spotlight the astonishingly parallel guidance they provided in encouraging male consumerism. One of the shared foci, on “fetishized mechanical objects”, was represented by Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 car and the Playboy automated round bed. Both Playboy and Bond encouraged the commodification of women and guilt-free (hetero-)sexuality, as evidences by the Bond girls and Playboy Bunnies. Both championed elaborate male grooming routines, gourmet food and alcohol, and travel to exotic locations … [This book] would be of use to scholars and teachers of intertextual analysis, magazine studies, and gender and sex in the media. It could also make an excellent addition to the reading lists of seminars on fanship studies or fan magazines.
Journal of Magazine Media 
December 2019

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