A Religious Orgy in Tennessee: A Reporter's Account of the by H.L. Mencken

By H.L. Mencken

Fiercely clever, scathingly sincere, and hysterically humorous, H.L. Mencken’s assurance of the Scopes Monkey Trial so galvanized the state that it will definitely encouraged a Broadway play and the vintage Hollywood motion picture Inherit the Wind.
 
Mencken’s no-nonsense sensibility remains to be intriguing: his perceptive rendering of the court docket drama; his piercing portrayals of key figures Scopes, Clarence Darrow, and William Jennings Bryan; his ferocious tackle the fundamentalist tradition surrounding it all—including a raucous hour of darkness journey into the woods to witness a mystery “holy curler” service.

Shockingly, those reviews have by no means been collected jointly right into a ebook in their own—until now.

A spiritual Orgy In Tennessee includes all of Mencken’s experiences for The Baltimore sunlight, The Nation, and The American Mercury. It even contains his assurance of Bryan’s demise simply days after the trial—an obituary so withering Mencken was once pressured by way of his editors to rewrite it, angering him and major him to rewrite it all over again in a 3rd model even much less forgiving than the 1st. All 3 models are incorporated, as is an entire transcript of the trial’s so much mythical trade: Darrow’s blistering cross-examination of Bryan.
 
With the increase of “intelligent design,” H.L. Mencken’s paintings hasn't ever appeared extra unnervingly timely—or undying.

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Additional resources for A Religious Orgy in Tennessee: A Reporter's Account of the Scopes Monkey Trial

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Cm. Articles originally published in The Baltimore Sun, The Nation, or The American Mercury. eISBN: 978-1-61219-031-0 1. —Press coverage—Maryland—Baltimore. 2. Evolution—Study and teaching—Law and legislation—Tennessee. 3. Mencken, H. L. (Henry Louis), 1880-1956—Political and social views. I. Title. 1 Cover Title Page Copyright Introduction by Art Window I: The Tennessee Circus II: Homo Neanderthalensis III: In Tennessee IV: Mencken Finds Daytonians Full of Sickening Doubts About Value of Publicity V: Impossibility of Obtaining Fair Jury Insures Scopes’ Conviction, Says Mencken VI: Mencken Likens Trial to a Religious Orgy, with Defendant a Beelzebub VII: Yearning Mountaineers’ Souls Need Reconversion Nightly, Mencken Finds VIII: Darrow’s Eloquent Appeal Wasted on Ears That Heed Only Bryan, Says Mencken IX: Law and Freedom, Mencken Discovers, Yield Place to Holy Writ in Rhea County X: Mencken Declares Strictly Fair Trial Is Beyond Ken of Tennessee Fundamentalists XI: Malone the Victor, Even Though Court Sides with Opponents, Says Mencken XII: Battle Now Over, Mencken Sees; Genesis Triumphant and Ready for New Jousts XIII: Tennessee in the Frying Pan XIV: Bryan XV: Round Two XVI: Aftermath XVII: To Expose a Fool Photographs Appendix: The Examination of William Jennings Bryan by Clarence Darrow About the Author Introduction By Art Winslow We have the stage antics of baseball-player-turned-evangelist William Ashley Sunday—Billy Sunday—and the weak ankles of the Tennessee General Assembly to thank for the high theater of the Scopes Trial of 1925.

It offers, to an ignorant man, the irresistible reasonableness of the nonsensical. So he accepts it with loud hosannas, and has one more excuse for hating his betters. Politics and the fine arts repeat the story. The issues that the former throw up are often so complex that, in the present state of human knowledge, they must remain impenetrable, even to the most enlightened men. How much easier to follow a mountebank with a shibboleth—a Coolidge, a Wilson or a Roosevelt! The arts, like the sciences, demand special training, often very difficult.

I gather the notion, indeed, that the gentlemen who are most active in promoting it are precisely the most lacking in hot conviction—that it is, in its local aspects, rather a joust between neutrals than a battle between passionate believers. Is it a mere coincidence that the town clergy have been very carefully kept out of it? There are several Baptist brothers here of such powerful gifts that when they begin belaboring sinners the very rats of the alleys flee to the hills. They preach dreadfully.

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