Liberal Hollywood Films versus Reality: Inherit the Wind; the Scopes Money Trial

Fred Siegel's The Revolt Against the Masses

Fred Siegel’s The Revolt Against the Masses

“The sensational 1924 Leopold and Loeb case in which the judge’s verdict was broadcast over the air, the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial” about the teaching of evolution, and the 1926-27 trial and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti, two anarchists accused of killing a payroll guard, helped shape liberal attitudes on human agency, religion, and capital punishment. Each produced poems, polemics, plays, novels, essays, and movies that became part of American culture down to the present. Each deeply resonated with the emerging liberal ethos.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 51.

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“The case [Scopes “Monkey Trial”] was a contrivance from the outset. The American Civil Liberties Union, founded in the wake of WWI’s repression, had initiated the case, which it saw as an opportunity to repeal the Butler Act while also making a name for itself. The ACLU ran newspaper ads across the state looking for a teacher who would be willing to cooperate with them in challenging the state law. They needed a defendant who would agree to be tried for violating the Butler Act. The town fathers of Dayton envisioned the trial as a potential boon that could put them on the map, and they convinced Scopes, a local high school teacher, to intentionally incriminate himself so that he would qualify as a defendant and the state’s case could go forward. His arrest was a friendly affair arranged by local boosters as a prelude to the show, which would make history by being the first trial broadcast on radio.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 55.

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“Regardless of what happened in Dayton, the effect of the case was clear: European-like divisions, largely absent thus far in America, opened up between science and revealed religion it was a chasm never to be closed.” The Revolt Against the Masses, copyright © 2013 by Fred Siegel, Encounter Books, Page 57.

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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