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9780593229927

Keeping the Faith God, Democracy, and the Trial That Riveted a Nation

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780593229927

  • ISBN10:

    0593229924

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2024-08-13
  • Publisher: Random House
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Summary

“Brenda Wineapple’s wonderful account of the Scopes trial sheds light not only on the battles of the past but on the struggles of the present.”—Jon Meacham
 
In this magnificent book, award-winning author of The Impeachers brings to life the dramatic story of the 1925 Scopes trial, which captivated the nation and exposed profound divisions in America that still resonate today—divisions over the meaning of freedom, religion, education, censorship, and civil liberties in a democracy.

“Propulsive . . . a terrific story about a pivotal moment in our history.”—Ken Burns

“No subject possesses the minds of men like religious bigotry and hate, and these fires are being lighted today in America.” So said legendary attorney Clarence Darrow as hundreds of people descended on the sleepy town of Dayton, Tennessee, for the trial of a schoolteacher named John T. Scopes, who was charged with breaking the law by teaching evolution to his biology class in a public school.

Brenda Wineapple explores how and why the Scopes trial quickly seemed a circus-like media sensation, drawing massive crowds and worldwide attention. Darrow, a brilliant and controversial lawyer, said in his electrifying defense of Scopes that people should be free to think, worship, and learn according to their own values. William Jennings Bryan, three-time Democratic nominee for president, argued for the prosecution that evolution undermined the fundamental, literal truth of the Bible and created a society without morals, meaning, and hope.

In Keeping the Faith, Wineapple takes us into the early years of the twentieth century—years of racism, intolerance, and world war—to illuminate, through this pivotal legal showdown, a seismic period in American history. At its heart, the Scopes trial dramatized conflicts over many of the fundamental values that define America, and that continue to divide Americans today.

Author Biography

Brenda Wineapple’s books include The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation, selected by a New York Times critic as one of the ten best nonfiction works of 2019; Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848–1877, a New York Times Notable Book; and White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. A recipient of a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize, among other honors, Wineapple has also received three National Endowment Fellowships, including its Public Scholars Award. She writes regularly for such publications as The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2023, she was selected a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

Supplemental Materials

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