Sell warriors; buy wizards

Whether in the form of Ian Fleming’s James Bond or John le Carré’s George Smiley, spies are big business. Without Bond as ur-Spy we might never have had Smiley. But they are hardly comparable. Bond is a glamorous, libidinous, fast assassin equipped with deadly toys. Smiley is quiet, unathletic and conscientious, methodical, perceptive and wise. Where Bond is fascistic, the supreme embodiment of belief in the superiority of action over thought, Smiley is contemplative. Where Bond is a warrior, Smiley is a wizard.

Sell warriors; buy wizards