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Her Majesty’s Spies In American Culture: Bond, James Bond and George Smiley

Bond, James Bond
and George Smiley

James Grady

Session 1: March 18, 7 - 9 p.m. (fully enrolled)
Session 2: March 19, 1 - 3 p.m.

Price: $40 ($35 members)

From Russia, With Love, Ian Fleming
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John Le Carre


REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

The spies of Great Britain in both flesh and fantasy shaped America’s espionage culture from the early days of the OSS and the CIA to our popular genre of spy fiction.

Let’s tread lightly on whatever we believe to be reality and with this class hunt two of Her Majesty’s fictional cloak & dagger knights who became global icons: Bond, James Bond and George Smiley.

Both Bond and Smiley sprang from imaginations filtered by real-life spy escapades: Bond’s creator Ian Fleming and Smiley’s author John Le Carre (a “work name” in espionage parlance) each spent time in Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Both characters center two of the most successful “novel series” in fiction. What’s intriguing beyond the works themselves is how they evolved into two very different archetypes for writers and readers, and what that means for us today.

The class will focus on a key work from each author: Fleming’s 1957 novel From Russia, With Love and Le Carre’s 1974 masterpiece Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Both books have been cinematic blockbusters—Sean Connery electrified the Bond franchise in the movie adapted from Fleming’s novel, while Tinker, Tailor has been a major television mini-series, a radio program and twice adapted for “the big screen.” Because Washington is a city focused on and fascinated by espionage, we anticipate major interest in this class and so are offering it twice.


James Grady’s first novel Six Days Of The Condor became a classic Robert Redford movie about spies in our Watergate era. Grady went on to publish more than a dozen other novels and as many short stories. He also covered spies for legendary Jack Anderson’s muckraking column and As career awards, France gave Grady its Grand Prix du Roman Noir and Italy gave him the Raymond Chandler medal, while Japan gave his last espionage novel, Mad Dogs, the Baku Misu literary award. He’s previously taught class for Politics & Prose on Dashiell Hammett, James Cain and Raymond Chandler.






Promotional Period: 
Mar 18 2013 - Mar 19 2013

ISBN-13: 9781612185477
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Thomas & Mercer, 10/2012

ISBN-13: 9780143119784
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books, 5/2011