12 Books That Changed the World

Author(s): Melvyn Bragg

Non Fiction

When we think of great events in the history of the world, we tend to think of war, revolution, political upheaval or natural catastrophe. But throughout history there have been moments of vital importance that have taken place not on the battlefield, or in the palaces of power, or even in the violence of nature, but between the pages of a book. In his fascinating new book accompanying the TV series, Melvyn Bragg presents a vivid reminder of the book as agent of social, political and personal revolution. Twelve Books that Changed the World presents a rich variety of human endeavour and a great diversity of characters. Here are famous books by Darwin, Newton and Shakespeare ÃÂâÃÂÃÂÃÂàbut we also discover the stories behind some less well-known works, such as Marie StopesÃÂâÃÂÃÂÃÂàMarried Love, the original radical feminist Mary WollstonecraftÃÂâÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs A Vindication of the Rights of Woman ÃÂâÃÂÃÂÃÂàand even the rules to an obscure ball game that became the most popular sport in the world . . . First published April 2006.


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'Bragg writes with passion...and once again, shows his capacity to make science and technology both exciting and accessible.' -- Independent 'Bragg has established himself over the past decades as a fearlessly dedicated, popular educator. Obviously an expression of sincere personal enthusiasm...a highly and easily readable book.' -- John Sutherland, The Sunday Times 'Bragg has written a very user-friendly guide to great ideas. Ultimately, this is a celebration of what human beings have acheived and as such, is a celebration of where we are now. That so many of those included here came from humble origins teaches us at the very least, in our cash-obsessed 21st century, that lack of wealth is no bar to achievement.' -- Amy Mathieson, Scotsman 'Even before you read it, this book is a delight. Beautifully produced, it contains timelines to accompany each chapter, images from the original publications and some very finely chosen colour pictures. As a read, it can charm almost anyone of any age. Lucid and enthusiastic, it draws you into the wonder Bragg plainly feels at the sheer scaleof theimpact of these works. Yet again Bragg has displayed his extraordinary and unique gifts as a communicator ... above all, this is a celebration of the book, that strange, low-tech device that still dazzles and changes our high-tech world.' -- Christena Appleyard, Daily Mail 'Bragg's congenial and generous prescence is open and inviting from the outset and his enthusiasm and understanding of the material is that of an eager learner, never an important know-it-all ... [he] entertainingly offers vivid glimpses and anecdotes, endearing or otherwise. This is an inspiring, fascinating and stimulating book with marvellous illustrations.' -- Niall MacMonagle, Irish Times 'As always, Bragg is lucid and entertaining' -- Bevis Hillier, Spectator 'This book may not change the world, but it will entertain' -- Peter Ackroyd, The Times

Melvyn Bragg's first novel, For Want of a Nail", was published in 1965 and since then his novels have included The Hired Man", for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall", winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, Credo" and The Soldier's Return", which won the WHSmith Literary Award. He has also written several works of non-fiction including Speak for England", Rich" andOn Giants' Shoulders". He is Controller of Arts at LWT and President of the National Campaign for the Arts, and in 1998 he was made a life peer. He lives in London and Cumbria.

General Fields

  • : 9780340839805
  • : Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • : Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
  • : 0.77
  • : April 2006
  • : 240mm X 161mm X 31mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Melvyn Bragg
  • : Hardback
  • : 2006
  • : 809
  • : 384
  • : 24pp colour photographs