Out now in hardback, ebook and audio – Available online here
Selected for the ‘Waterstones Best Books of 2022: History‘ list
The Beatles are the biggest band there has ever been. James Bond is the single most successful movie character of all time. They are also twins. Dr No, the first Bond film, and Love Me Do, the first Beatles record, were both released on the same day – Friday 5 October 1962. Most countries can only dream of a cultural export becoming a worldwide phenomenon on this scale. For Britain to produce two on the same windy October afternoon is unprecedented.
Bond and the Beatles present us with opposing values, visions of Britain, and ideas about male identity. LOVE AND LET DIE is the story of a clash between working class liberation and establishment control, and how it exploded on the global stage. It explains why James Bond hated the Beatles, why Paul McCartney wanted to be Bond, and why it was Ringo who won the heart of a Bond Girl in the end.
Told over a period of sixty dramatic years, this is an account of how two outsized cultural monsters continue to define our aspirations and fantasies and the future we are building. Looking at these touchstones in this new context will forever change how you see the Beatles, the James Bond films and six decades of British culture.
PRAISE FOR LOVE AND LET DIE
“Brilliant” – FRANK COTTRELL-BOYCE, THE OBSERVER
“This is more than just a book about those two cultural colossi, The Beatles and Bond. It is that – and magnificently so – but it is also about class, art, masculinity, entitlement, politics, love, and death. Humane, droll, wise, there is some brilliant apercu, revelation or connection on every page. A dazzling, daring, recondite and immensely readable pop culture critique” — STUART MACONIE
“Love and Let Die is a triumphant work of truth, heart and soul. I believe it could be used as a teaching tool for where we have been, where we are and what tomorrow never knows. I find all of John Higgs books to be deeply connected in what is it is to be human, his work is candid and clever, enriching and wise, Love and Let Die is revolutionary, spirited, shaken and stirred” — SALENA GODDEN
“If you take popular culture seriously, this is the book for you” — JEREMY DELLER
“I was gripped throughout… Perhaps what I love most about Higgs’ books is how they are packed with small details and big ideas. That type of approach to writing requires imagination, which Higgs clearly has in spades.” — JON SUTTON, THE PSYCHOLOGIST
“Strikingly insightful… [Higgs] gives us page after page of glorious anecdotes about Bond and The Beatles, revelations about one sparking insights into the other.” — PETER CARTY, THE I NEWSPAPER
★★★★ – A highly evocative picture of the 1960s… Love and Let Die is a book to leave you shaken and stirred. — THE INDEPENDENT
“Ingenious… Higgs’s central thesis has an overarching explanatory power” – THE SPECTATOR
“Higgs cleverly uses these two coeval phenomena to recount the cultural history of post-imperial Britain… He teases out this conceit with a critic’s attention to detail.” – THE ECONOMIST
“An ingenious harvest in which every chapter reveals and sifts soil from our psyche.” – INTERNATIONAL TIMES
“A brilliant way of shedding new light on a couple of British cultural phenomena… a really entertaining and thought provoking book that weaves together elements of psychology and social history, as well as some good deep-level trivia.” – ADAM BUXTON
“★★★★★ – A daring, dazzlingly entertaining pop culture critique… It’s smart and analytical, yes, but it’s also enormously good fun. There’s something provocative or revelatory on every page.” – MAIL ON SUNDAY
“A new perspective on this age-old dialogue between images of class and masculinity.” – MORNING STAR
“Scintillating – a thoughtful romp through pop culture that’s full of fresh ideas and sharp connections” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“I loved this book” – Tyler Cowen (included on the Marginal Revolution Best non-fiction books of 2022 list)
“The author’s examination of these two cultural icons, and the way they captured the imagination of Britain and the world, is imaginative and illuminating. A very interesting blend of pop culture and history.” – BOOKLIST
The US and Canadian version will be published on February 7th 2023 – and it is available to pre-order here.