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

The gospels accordingto Melvyn

The translation of the Bible into the English vernacular was, Melvyn Bragg argues, a pivotal moment in history.

The King James Version, first printed in 1611, was not just a tool for the dissemination of the Protestant faith but a revolutionary text that gave voice to ordinary men and women.

Bragg spurns footnotes, which means that some of his grander claims for the Bible – "the prime educating force in the English-speaking world"; "the key determinant in the moulding of America" – seem, if not implausible, then unearned. But considered as an introduction to the subject, it is difficult to see how this book could be bettered: Bragg's narrative is sweeping, his prose dramatic, his enthusiasm infectious.