Thursday, March 15, 2007

All About My Fabulous, Wonderful Book!

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," futility on a half shell! Remember all those grand ambitions you had as a hardy youth? Yeah, well, now you have bursitis.

I absolutely suck at linking, and I know from reading other blogs that it's a skill I should have. Lacking the time and tutor to do anything about it today, I give you instead a little plug about my most recent book, Defining Moments: The Scopes Monkey Trial. (Detroit: Omnigraphics Press, 2006)

The Scopes Monkey Trial is a simple, straightforward narrative about the famous trial in Dayton, Tennessee in which a school teacher named John Scopes was accused of teaching evolution to his students in violation of Tennessee's newly-passed Butler Act of 1925. According to the Butler Act, it became unlawful to teach anything that contradicted the notion that the world was created in six days by an Intelligent Designer. Scopes, a young bachelor who thought he'd just have a lark of it, decided to challenge the law.

In fact, Scopes said it is impossible to teach biology without teaching evolution.

A riveting trial ensued. Clarence Darrow and Dudley Field Malone led Scopes's defense. William Jennings Bryan, a once-great politician reduced to fundie propagandizing, pontificated for the prosecution.

If you've seen "Inherit the Wind," you've seen a fruity fictionalized version of this important trial. In fact, the real Scopes trial was not nearly such a one-sided victory for all things rational and intellectual. During the real trial, Darrow attacked Bryan so savagely that it was overkill.

Wait a minute. It was just kill. Bryan died less than a week after the trial ended. One presumes his ticket to that Great Adventure Theme Park in the Sky was paid for and in his pocket.

So, my book is about this trial. It includes historical events leading up to the trial, chapters on the trial itself, how the trial was viewed by subsequent generations, and finally, all the modern flap about teaching Intelligent Design. This narrative is followed by biographical entries on the major figures in the trial. It then has a chronology, and then a glossary. And then an iddy biddy index.

Needless to say, The Scopes Monkey Trial was written for school children. That's why I don't shill it shamelessly here at "The Gods Are Bored." It's very pricey at $44.00. The reason for the high price is that the book is library grade, meaning that it has acid-free paper and a library binding. Those things don't come cheap. TSMT is meant to be sold to school libraries. It's part of a series called "Defining Moments."

I've gotta say I'm tickled pink with The Scopes Monkey Trial. Especially this acid-free paper, which means the doggone thing will look spiffy if and when my grandchildren blow off the cobwebs and take a peek.

The editors at Omnigraphics called me out of the blue and asked me to write the book. I was already an armchair expert on H.L. Mencken, who covered the trial for the Baltimore Sun and the American Mercury. I also studied human evolution at Johns Hopkins University with author Pat Shipman and her husband Alan Walker, winner of a MacArthur "genius grant." (One defining moment in my life came when I turned down an opportunity to work for Dr. Walker. I wanted to be a writer. Duhhhhhhhhhhh.)

We here at "The Gods Are Bored" have never loved anything more than running our flame-tipped pens through Intelligent Design. It's an ongoing joy for us to offer scientific evidence of a world vomited from the belly of a stressed bored god. And that incontrovertable proof that we all rest on the shell of a turtle because a Goddess needed some dry land under her feet.

If you would like "The Gods Are Bored" to offer a series of posts on the Scopes Monkey Trial, leave a comment! Let's see. I think we'd call it Gene or Genesis. Wow. That's snappy!

Do I have anything that I will shamelessly shill on this site in the future? Damn straight. Ten bloody years before the stupid Da Vinci Code, I started writing a historical novel about how the Knights Templar got their mitts on the Holy Grail and all its secrets. This summer I'm gonna get someone to make me a web site about that book, and if you want to read it the price will be right! No acid free paper on that baby, no sirreeee.

In the meantime, we at "The Gods Are Bored" look forward to serving you righteous portions of powerful polytheism! In fact, we've already booked a bored god for tomorrow or Saturday who is going to tell you why to wear anything but green on St. Patrick's Day!



Athana said...

Yes, yes, yes, I say! I'll take posts on the Scopes Monkey Trial! And anne, congratulations on the book! It must be good -- with the acid-free paper and all, they obviously don't want it to rot away in a year or two the way lesser-quality books do. Wow! I'm proud to call you friend!

I just looked on Amazon, and there it is! But it's going for $49, not $44. I hope you get a hefty portion of the profit. You can quit subbing and stay home and write fulltime!

Rosie said... is on the Monkey Trial. Yes, please. I'd love to see some posts on that.

Here's your link:

Defining Moments: The Scopes "Monkey Trial"

BBC said...

That was a good movie.

And I liked parts of the Da Vinci Code, one spiritual part in particular.



You of course do not have to believe that.

I can't afford your book, but will look at the library for it. But maybe you don't want me to read it, I tend to analytically tear books apart. :-)

Tennessee Jed said...

Perhaps Omni thought the book was ahead of its time so they wanted to preserve it properly.

I would love to hear more about your writing Anne.

buddy don said...

i hope ye jes keep on keepin on, as them (we) hippies used to say. this here site is one of the most thought pervokin on the web n i only wish i could git toot everday.

Interrobang said...

Hm. Tell you what. If my current employers renew my contract in six weeks, I'll find a way to buy a copy of your book. That's a mere two hours of my labour, plus whatever the exchange rate is that day.

I would love to see posts on the Scopes Monkey Trial.