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Revealing little-known facts about the fight to teach evolution in schools, this riveting account of the dramatic 1925 Scopes Trial (aka “the Monkey Trial”) speaks directly to today’s fights over what students learn, the tension between science and religion, the influence of the media on public debate, and the power of one individual to change history.
Arrested? For teaching? John Scopes’s crime riveted the world, and crowds flocked to the trial of the man who dared to tell students about a forbidden topic—evolution.
The year was 1925, and discussing Darwin’s theory of evolution was illegal in Tennessee classrooms. Lawyers wanted to challenge the law, and businessmen smelled opportunity. But no one imagined the firestorm the Scopes Trial would ignite—or the media circus that would follow.
As reporters, souvenir-hawking vendors, angry protestors, and even real monkeys mobbed the courthouse, a breathless public followed the action live on national radio broadcasts. All were fascinated by the bitter duel between science and religion, an argument that boiled down to the question of who controls what students can learn—an issue that resonates to this day.
Through contemporary visuals and evocative prose, Anita Sanchez vividly captures the passion, personalities, and pageantry of the infamous “Monkey Trial,” highlighting the quiet dignity of the teacher who stood up for his students’ right to learn.
“With cogence aplenty for current national issues, Sanchez expertly sifts a mountain of documentary evidence to present a coherent account of the event [that is] perceptive, well written and reasoned, and as topical as ever.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A lively, solidly researched tale that delivers enduring truths about the lure of controversy.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Compelling and important.” — School Library Journal (starred review)