"Trials of the Monkey" Matthew Chapman

Book Cover

In 1925 John Thomas Scoopes, a High School teacher in Dayton, TN wastried in court for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution contrary to arecently passed Tennessee law. The trial was a media freak show full ofbombastic speeches and self-righteous characters.

Many books have been written about the Scoopes trial, not so muchbecause of the content, but because of the amazing cast of characters.William Jennings Bryan, a three-times Democratic Presidential Candidate,one-time Secretary of State, and at the end of his career, anevangelical fundamentalist. George W. Rappleyea, an Engineer in thefailing town of Dayton saw the commercial importance of the trial to hislittle town. And to round out the cast, Clarence Darrow, possibly thebest know lawyer in American history, certainly one of the mostsignificant.

Matthew Chapman is the great great grandson of Charles Darwin. Heoriginally set out to write a journalistic report of the re-enactmentsof the Scoopes Trial held in Dayton every year, but somewhere during thewriting that changed and a story about Mr. Chapman came out.

Much like the trial, the book is paradoxical and funny while at the sametime showing great depth and raising many provocative questions to thereader.

The book is well written and very engaging. I highly recommend it.

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