Summer for the Gods

By Edward J. Larson,

Book cover of Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion

Book description

In the summer of 1925, the sleepy hamlet of Dayton, Tennessee, became the setting for one of the twentieth century's most contentious courtroom dramas, pitting William Jennings Bryan and the anti-Darwinists against a teacher named John Scopes, represented by Clarence Darrow and the ACLU, in a famous debate over science,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Summer for the Gods as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Scopes “Monkey” trial was a global media phenomenon and has passed into history as an epic battle, even more dramatic than the Galileo trial 300 years earlier. It certainly is a dramatic story, and Edward Larson retells it in this book with style and pace.

But, as is so often the case in the history of science and religion, the devil is in the detail, and the popular image of ignorant, demented fundamentalists taking on and being humiliated by the cool logic and evidence-based reasoning of secularists is only part of it. Eugenics, racism, politics, economics, biblical theology, and…

From Nicholas' list on science and religion through the ages.

Nearly a century ago, in the small town of Dayton, Tenn., one of the most heated trials in U.S. history occurred. Few Americans could ignore the small, crowded, overheated courtroom where an illustrious criminal lawyer squared off against a renowned politician over the teaching of the theory of human evolution. The case, which pitted religion (William Jennings Bryan) against science (Clarence J. Darrow), highlighted the rift between urban and rural values, and demonstrated the rising authority of modern educators and experts. Perhaps most exciting, this book chronicles the untamed expansion of American popular culture during the 1920s. 

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