[The University of Indiana in] Bloomington, of all places, is the repository of the bulk of Fleming's books and papers. These, according to an excellent biography by Andrew Lycett, include State of Excitement, Fleming's only unpublished work—disappointingly enough, an account of a trip he made to Kuwait in 1960. (The book failed to meet with the approval of the Kuwait Oil Company, which had commissioned it but did not care for its tone. So it is not the case that Fleming invariably romanticized British post-colonialism.)I love Fleming's Bond books, and I'm sure his take of Kuwait in 1960 would be hilarious. And I'd love a subscription to the Atlantic to read the full Hitchens piece, but won't give them any money since James Fallows' positively evil attack piece on the Mohammed Al Dura shooting, which was full of Israeli disinformation and had not one iota of Palestinian sourcing.
Update: Hitchens also has a piece on the great Flashman books in Vanity Fair.
Update 2: Having been sent the full article on Fleming by several kind readers, I think this passage is the most brilliant thing I've read all week:
...it was Fleming who first conjured it and who reached beyond the KGB into our world of the Colombian cartel, the Russian mafia, and other "non-state actors" like al-Qaeda. "SPECTRE," I noticed recently, is an anagram of "Respect," the name of a small British party led by a power-drunk micro-megalomaniac called George Galloway, a man with a friendly connection to Saddam Hussein.So vindictive...