The Scopes 'Monkey Trial'
America's Most Famous Trial and Its Ongoing Legacy
by Randy Moore
November 2022, 276pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7809-1
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7810-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Although virtually all biologists accept evolution as a unifying principle for understanding life, its acceptance by the public has lagged far behind, with many people instead preferring religious claims to explain life’s diversity.

This book introduces readers to the 'Trial of the Century,' revealing how the trial originated, what caused and happened during and after the trial, what happened to the trial's participants, and why the trial still matters nearly 100 years later.

Ongoing controversies about school curricula, such as the teaching of Critical Race Theory and the role of parents in public education, can all be traced to the Scopes Trial. Today, the question remains: who controls the school curriculum? This was a foundational issue in the Scopes Trial, and we have been debating this question ever since. This book will help readers understand where these controversies originated and how courts, politicians, and the public handled these issues nearly a century ago.

Featuring new information from previously untapped sources and providing an in-depth study of John Scopes himself, this book interrogates the facts, fictions, and legend of the Scopes Trial, which historians rank as one of the defining events of the 20th century. It is an ideal resource for anyone interested in the ongoing controversy about evolution, science, and religion in education and American life.


  • Provides new perspectives and new information about the Scopes Trial, a landmark in American history
  • Unearths the often-overlooked story of John Scopes and his life before, during, and after his trial
  • Includes never-before-published perspectives from his children, descendants, and friends
  • Provides context for today's ongoing controversies about who controls the curricula of public schools
Randy Moore, PhD, is professor of biology and H.T. Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis-St. Paul. He studies evolution, is an honorary lifetime member of the Rhea County Historical and Genealogical Society, and has published a variety of books about the evolution-creationism controversy, including More Than Darwin: An Encyclopedia of the People and Places of the Evolution-Creationism Controversy (with Mark D. Decker) and Chronology of the Evolution-Creationism Controversy (with Mark D. Decker and Sehoya Cotner). Moore's books about the Scopes Trial include The Scopes Monkey Trial (with William F. McComas and Tom Davis) and A Field Guide to the Scopes Trial.


"Professor Randy Moore's monumental labors on this well-trodden path of history have produced a masterpiece of scholarship. Often venturing where no historian has gone before, his indefatigable gathering of facts gleaned from every possible source presents a story that enlightens, intrigues, and entertains. Result: A good read and reliable encyclopedic reference for anyone seeking any recondite aspect of the Scopes Trial."—James Presley, PhD, Co-Author of Center of the Storm: Memoirs of John T. Scopes

"Well done, Randy Moore! Thank you for your exhaustive research, historical detail, and gifted storytelling of my family's history." —Lisa Metzger Rennegarbe, Grandniece of John T. Scopes

"The Scopes 'Monkey Trial' gives an excellent description of the trial and its components. This book shows that this event is relevant even today, giving the reader a better understanding of the trial and those associated with it."—Pat Guffey, Rhea County, Tennessee, Historian
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