Heart And Soul: Fifty Years Of The Cross And The Switchblade

Saturday 4 August



Inspired by his work with gang members in the streets of New York, David Wilkerson wrote The Cross and The Switchblade. In the 50 years since it was published, the book has sold over 15 million copies and been read by an estimated 50 million people. Its influence stretches around the world, and many of the millions who have read it have credited it with converting them to Christianity and inspiring them to leave their lives of crime and drug abuse behind them.

The Rev Richard Coles, who became an Anglican vicar after a career as a pop star in the 1980s, tells the story of the book, and speaks to people who were influenced by it. He meets Paul Lloyd, who was a drug addict and dealer who read the book and is now a Pastor in Manchester in England.

Coles hears from Nicky Cruz, who was the subject of the book, and Amethyst Roth, who uses the book in her missionary work in DR Congo. He also speaks to David Wilkerson’s son Gary about the lasting legacy of The Cross and Switchblade, which many believe has become one of the most dynamic, influential and celebrated books on faith.

BBC World Service Publicity