Given that the trial was designed as pure political theatre on both sides of the dais, a booklength account thrives or fails on the context or analysis it provides. I'm grateful to hear about the religious atmosphere at the time, about the fact that William Jennings Bryan changed tactics as a populist and may just have predicted the worst consequences of social Darwinism in a final speech he was destined never to deliver. This is not the book's focus, which adds some slightly outmoded analytic framework from academia of the time to an otherwise intellectually rich account by this Boston professor. But the strange fact remains that the accused teacher faked his alleged teaching of evolution to get a guilty verdict and that Clarence Darrow pushed for a verdict of innocence for legal reasons. Possibly better as documentary, theatre, or a Pirandello play, although Darrow's famous questions about Creationism to Bryan on the witness stand don't seem so explosively telling, as portrayed in the book.