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Fundamentalism and Education in the Scopes Era: God, Darwin, and the Roots of America's Culture Wars Hardcover – May 25, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


'Where the book is strongest, and the reason historians of education will want to read it, is to see a much more complex, widespread, and effective movement by religious conservatives to address the content and control of education in the 1920s and beyond.'—History of Education Quarterly

'Drawing on a rich field of revisionist studies of American fundamentalism and evangelicalism, Adam Laats has written a nuanced history of the fundamentalist educational campaigns of the 1920s that effectively positions the controversy over teaching evolution in public schools within the broader cultural agenda that fundamentalists were pursuing. Important and timely.'—The Journal of Southern History
'Laats has written the definitive history of education and the culture wars of the 1920s, illuminating the diverse character of Protestant fundamentalism and the crisis over religion and the schools that continue to this very day.' - William J. Reese, Carl F. Kaestle WARF Professor of Educational Policy Studies and History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

'Laats has written a first-rate, even-handed introduction to the efforts of fundamentalists to eradicate the teaching of evolution and promote the reading of the Bible in the schools of America. There is no better analysis of the contested meanings of 'fundamentalism' or of fundamentalist attempts to control curricula in the 1920s, from elementary school through college. This book will appeal not only to historians of education, religion, and science but to all persons interested in the so-called culture wars of the twentieth century.' - Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design

'In this work Laats breaks new ground with his description and analysis of the surprisingly wide-ranging fundamentalist education campaign of the 1920s, in which 'fundamentalists and their conservative allies sought to turn their implicit cultural assumptions into explicit, legally binding educational policy.' What makes this book particularly valuable is that, as Laats makes clear, we cannot understand the contemporary culture wars without understanding their connection with the battles over education in the Scopes Era.' - William Vance Trollinger, Jr., Associate Professor of History, University of Dayton

About the Author

Adam Laats is Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Binghamton University, State University of New York, where he teaches classes in history and education. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.   

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