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A Corrective for Popular Perception About The Scopes Trial

September 25, 2015

For many Americans the first image that comes to mind when they think about the conflict between science and religion is the Scopes trial popularly thought to be accurately presented in the film Inherit The Wind. In the book Summer of The Gods:The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and ReligionPulitzer Prize Winner in History Edward J. Larson (Harvard, 1997) sets the record straight. The organization is straight forward and easy to follow with sections BEFORE…DURING… and AFTER…..outlining the 10 chapters. The history culled from original source documents is woven into a fascinating read sometimes hard to but down because of its sparkling prose full of actual dialog between the principles of trial. Few books balance so well research, fairness to the diverse perspectives and historical critique on the impact on the decades following than this book does. The context of events that led up to Scopes trial are explained clearly and forcefully. The trial is laid out day to day with fascinating detail including the events surrounding the trial around the town, stater and country. The analysis of the trials impact was the most informative part of the book for me. If you have a vested interest in the evolution debate or teach regularly on evolution this book is must reading.You will never see the Scopes Trial in the same way again. Highly Recommended!

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