12 books that changed the world

An interesting list [such things can happen] from Melvyn Bragg – Twelve Books that Changed the World. Although several reports mention the Anglo-centric and, indeed, eccentric nature of his choices it’s still an interesting consideration.. and the Daily Telegraph suggests an alternative list.. of course there’s a TV series behind it.. but that didn’t stop Lord Bragg[as he is now] from having a dig at his former LWT colleague Lord Birt, as the BBC gleefuly reported, “Perhaps he has joined the club of beached grandees who take swipes at ITV, whose programmes they might not have even watched.”.. heh.Bragg’s list in full –

Darwin – The Origin of Species (1859)

The First Rule Book of the Football Association (1863)

William Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623)

Newton – Principia Mathematica (1687)

Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations (1776)

William Wilberforce – Speech to the House of Commons (May 12 1789)

The King James Bible (1611)

Patent Specification for Arkwright’s Spinning Machine (1769)

Mary Wollstonecraft – A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

Michael Faraday – Experimental Research in Electricity (1855)

Marie Stopes – Married Love (1918)

Magna Carta (1215)

Given his inclusion of a single page document, and a speech, there seems a wide scope for any alternative list.. the one criteria appears to be that it must have appeared in print.

So, here’s my attempt.. admittedly, entirely subjective.. as Melvyn Bragg’s is –

Magna Carta (1215)

Johann Guttenberg’s Bible (1452)

Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres (1543)

William Gilbert – De Magnete (1600)

William Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623)

Galileo Galilei – Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: Ptolemaic and Copernican (1632)

Charles I’s death warrant (1649)

Robert Hooke – Micrographia (1665)

Newton – Principia Mathematica (1687)

Thomas Jefferson et al – The Unanimous Declaration of Independence of the thirteen united States of America(1776)

Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species (1859)

Albert Einstein – Special theory of relativity (1905)

Feel free to add your own suggestions.

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