Friday, June 02, 2006

Monkey Town: the Summer of the Scopes Trial

Ronald Kidd has written a novel that tells the story of the Scopes Trial through the voice of a teenaged girl who has a crush on Johnny Scopes, her teacher and the accused.

Did you realize that John Scopes really never taught evolution? He was a substitute for the biology teacher and he assigned the students to read the chapter on evolution. The trial had its origins as a conspiracy at Robinson’s drug store to put Dayton, Tennessee on the map by challenging the state’s anti-evolution law. So, the plot is probably based on fact, but one must always remember that this is a novel. As you read, you may see that some of the characters may be proponent of the new theory of “intelligent design.”

Good historical fiction, and it caused me to do some research about the 1925 Scopes Trial and about the man John Scopes. (I had not realized that he had graduated from high school in Salem, Illinois.)

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