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The Book of Books

The Radical Impact of the King James Bible 1611 - 2011

List Price: $17.95

August 21, 2012 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 368 Pages | ISBN 9781619020108
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"I have never read an account of the Bible quite so compelling.” —New Statesman

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 English language and its literature. It has been the Bible of wars from the British Civil War in the seventeenth 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.

As Melvyn Bragg’s The Adventure of English explored the history of our language, so The Book of Books reveals the extraordinary and still-felt impact of a work created 400 years ago.

MELVYN BRAGG is a best-selling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Adventure of English. He is the host of the incredibly popular arts program The South Bank Show, which airs in 60 countries including the United States. The show has been on the air, with Bragg as the host, since 1978. He lives in London and Cumbria.


“Bragg consummately proves beyond reasonable doubt that [The King James Bible] is the source of our present use of English.” —Business Day

“Bragg’s strengths as a novelist yield an account that is personal and imaginative, full of excitement and energy… I have never read an account of the Bible quite so compelling.” —New Statesman

“Bragg’s tribute is of value because he has an aptitude for storytelling. He is breezily readable where other studies can feel dense and recondite. His turn of phrase is dramatic. Bragg’s prose reverberates with scriptural certainty.” —Observer

“What gives this book its particular power… is that he separates the importance of the King James Bible from the role of Christianity itself. Bragg tells the history of the King James with the vigor and pace of a storyteller rather than the dry precision of an academic.” —Independent

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