List: 12 Books That Changed The World

Football's first rule book was named as one of 12 works that changed the world 2005-09-07 -- alongside 'The King James Bible' and Darwin's 'Origin of Species'. Mr.Melvyn Bragg revealed the list as the basis of a new TV show... the follow-up to his last literary series, 'The Adventure of English'. The texts listed, range from the first folio of Mr.William Shakespeare's works in 1623, to the Patent for Mr.Richard Arkwright's spinning machine, from 1769. But the Scottish historian Mr.Tom Devine ridiculed the titles yesterday as 'Anglo-centric and eccentric'; it ignored historic milestones from Europe and America, he said. Filming has begun for the four-part series, '12 Books that Changed the World', that will be rolled out in 2006-04. The idea is that books are as historically powerful in their own way as invasions, assassinations, or major natural disasters, said an ITV1 spokesman.
'The series aims to show that the lives we lead have been formed as often as not by a single book. It was an idea that Melvyn had about seven years ago, and he left it on the back burner. He didn't really know how it would play on screen.'
But the success of 'The Adventure of English' persuaded him to choose another literary topic. 'The South Bank Show' presenter's signature series last year was 'The Story of ITV'. The director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival Ms.Catherine Lockerbie, said:
'Melvyn Bragg's central thesis is right and it is one the book festival demonstrates every summer: ideas drive the world forwards and ideas are most beautifully, powerfully and resonantly contained in books.'
But she said that including the first rule book of the Football Association, drawn up in 1863 and the basis for the modern game, was either a jokey attempt at populism or an effort to say sport has affected many people's lives. Also included is 'Married Love' by family planning campaigner Ms.Marie Stopes. Published in 1918, it was the UK's first sex manual and was branded obscene by 'The Church' and the medical establishment. The text of Mr.William Wilberforce's speech to parliament in 1789, beginning his campaign for the abolition of slavery, is featured along with Ms.Mary Wollstonecraft's 18th-century feminist treatise 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman'. 'The King James Bible', of 1604, became a standard work in most households, important not only for religious reasons but for its influence on reading at home. But Ms.Lockerbie questioned why 'The Gutenberg Bible', printed by the German inventor of movable type, was not featured instead. Mr.Devine questioned the inclusion of the Patent for Mr.Arkwright's spinning machine, which transformed the production of textiles and helped usher in the Industrial Revolution. He said Mr.James Watt's patent, in the same year, for a separate condenser on a steam engine, was a far better choice. He questioned why 'The Magna Carta' was chosen and not 'The Declaration of Arbroath'. Both are said to have inspired 'The US American Declaration of Independence', that also missed out.
'There's one or two interesting things in there, but it's Anglo-centric, eccentric and Braggian.
What about the classical thinkers of Greece and Rome?' he said. MUST-READS
  • 'The Origin of Species' (Mr.Charles Darwin, 1859)
  • The first rule book of 'The Football Association' (1863)
  • Mr.William Shakespeare's First Folio (1623)
  • 'Principia Mathematica' (Mr.Isaac Newton, 1687)
  • 'The Wealth of Nations' (Mr.Adam Smith, 1776)
  • Mr.William Wilberforce's Commons speech, 1789-05-12
  • King James's Bible (1611)
  • Patent specification for Mr.Arkwright's spinning machine (1769)
  • 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' (Ms.Mary Wollstonecraft, 1792)
  • 'Experimental Research in Electricity' (Mr.Michael Faraday, 1855)
  • 'Married Love' (Ms.Marie Stopes, 1918)
  • 'Magna Carta' (1215) '12 books that changed the world', Tim Cornwell, The Scotsman, 2005-09-08, Th


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another stupid List I blame Nick Hornby for starting this list obsession.

9/28/2005 12:33:00 am  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home