Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion

Summer for the Gods The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion – Larson – 1997

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Publisher: Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (October 2, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 046507510X
ISBN-13: 978-0465075102

In the summer of 1925, the sleepy hamlet of Dayton, Tennessee, became the setting for one of the 20th century’s most contentious dramas: the Scopes trial that pit William Jennings Bryan and the anti-Darwinists against a teacher named John Scopes into a famous debate over science, religion, and their place in public education That trial marked the start of a battle that continues to this day-in Dover, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Cobb County, Georgia, and many other cities and states throughout the country. Edward Larson’s classic, Summer for the Gods, received the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1998 and is the single most authoritative account of a pivotal event whose combatants remain at odds in school districts and courtrooms. For this edition, Larson has added a new preface that assesses the state of the battle between creationism and evolution, and points the way to how it might potentially be resolved.

Review

The Pulitzer Prize–winning book that is “quite simply the best book ever written on the Scopes Trial and its place in American history and myth” — Ronald L. Numbers

“Larson unlocks the past and renders it gracefully accessible in a narrative style that is easy to follow, despite the complexity of the intellectual currents and counter-currents of his theme.”

“[Larson’s] careful and evenhanded analysis dispels the mythologies and caricatures in film and stage versions of the trial, leaving us with a far clearer picture of the cultural warfare that still periodically erupts in our classes and courts.”

About the Author

Edward J. Larson is a professor with a joint appointment in history and law at the University of Georgia. A graduate of Williams College and Harvard Law School, he received his doctorate in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is also the author of Evolution’s Workshop: God and Science on the Galapagos Islands and lives in Athens, Georgia.
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