July 2012

Discovering the Bond Novels

"... Indeed, for years they were out of print."

“JAMES BOND, with two double bourbons inside him, sat in the final departure lounge of Miami Airport and thought about life and death.”

These are the opening lines of the novel Goldfinger by Ian Fleming. How great is that? As good as the movies are, and Goldfinger is one of the best, I don’t think that this level of badassery can be properly filmed.

Famous Spies: Pham Xuan An

Pham Xuan An, also known as agent X6, was one of the most successful spies of the Vietnam War.  He worked as an assistant for reporters during the war, performing both journalist and assistant roles for such prestigious news sources as Reuters and Time.  This unique position gave him special access to the military secrets of South Vietnam, secrets that he fed to the North Vietnamese communist leaders.

Famous Spies: Brita Tott

Brita Tott, also known as the Lady of Hammersta, was a noblewoman of the 15th century who happened to have ended up in the perfect position to become one of the most effective spies in Danish history.  Born to a wealthy noble family, Tott would eventually become one of the biggest landowners and powerful women in all of Scandinavia.  Though born in Denmark, she would end up marrying an influential Swedish noble and move to Sweden.  For nearly 10 years, she was content to use her vast wealth to manipulate politics in both Sweden and Denmark.  But when these two countries went to war, her loyalties lay with her homeland.