• The Book of Books: The Radical Impact of the King James Bible, 1611-2011

  • By: Melvyn Bragg
  • Narrated by: Stephen Thorne
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-20-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (13 ratings)

Regular price: $21.10

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Publisher's Summary

The King James Bible has often been called ‘the Book of Books’ both in itself and in what it stands for. Since its publication in 1611 it has been the best-selling book in the world, and many believe it has had the greatest impact. The King James Bible has spread the Protestant faith. It has also been the greatest influence on the enrichment of the English language and its literature. It has been the Bible of wars from the British Civil War in the 17th century to the American Civil War two centuries later, and it has been carried into battle in innumerable conflicts since then.
Its influence on social movements - particularly involving women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - and politics was profound. It was crucial to the growth of democracy. It was integral to the abolition of slavery and it defined attitudes to modern science, education and sex.
Fascinating and eye-opening, The Book of Books reveals the extraordinary and still-felt impact of a work created 400 years ago. Stephen Thorne reads Melvyn Bragg’s definitive history of the King James Bible.
©2011 Melvyn Bragg (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Lois on 01-30-12

The Influence of the Bble on English Literature

Melvyn Bragg was lyrical in his appreciation of the literary contribution of the King James Bible to the English language, crediting it with having the most influence on the all subsequent English literature of any writing. He dismissed the content of the Bible as being mostly fairy tales however, which was disappointing. As it is the 400th anniversary of the K.J.V. being universally available, I was hoping to find a book that gave some background to the events which finally allowed ordinary people to own these amazing scriptures which have influenced our culture so markedly. I lost interest halfway though the volume as it became a technical treatise about language.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jacobus on 11-26-11

A linguist trying to be a theologian

If you want a history of the King James Version, this book will probably be a disappointment. Melvyn Bragg tries to give an overview of the impact of the King James Version on the English speaking peoples and the world at large ranging over 400 years. The book has a too broad scope and therefore I think it fails. The impression that I got at times is that it is the ramblings of someone that don't know where to start and where to finish. While there are a lot of interesting bits, I was left with a lot of questions. Should a short rebuttal of Richard Dawkins be part of such a book? Does Bragg really know the difference between the Old and New Testament, as in the beginnig he especially equated the New Testament with the Bible? I really don't think Bragg is right when he says that British and other English speaking missionaries made their translations into other languages from the King James Bible. He quotes Diarmaid Macullach a lot, taking his point of departure uncritically. In the end I am a bit disappointed in the book. I really think there are better books on the issue for instance the one Alistar McGrath wrote. Bragg should really limit his scope in future.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Henry on 07-08-11


This type of book is why I started listening to audio books as although I have a great interest in history it can sometimes be hard slog reading through. As an atheist but brought up a Presbyterian in Scotland I am acutely aware of religious differences in the UK. Too many people dismiss the role that religion has and still continues to play in our lives, the King James bible changed the face of history and played a massive part in freeing the peasants and opening up education to the masses.
I don't believe in God and the bible is full of stories written by men but there is no mistaking the profound affect on history.

Read this book regardless of your religious beliefs to discover how it changed the face of Britain, Europe and the Americas.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Elizabeth Davies on 05-27-11

Absolutely wonderful ..........

This is among the best books I have ever "read". It was so interesting,brilliantly written and narrated. I will listen again because although dense with facts it is not at all tedious ... on the contrary it is totally absorbing. Congratulations Melyn Bragg, this is a classic.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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