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

  • by Melvyn Bragg
  • Narrated by Stephen Thorne
  • 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- Lois

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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- Jacobus

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-20-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios