Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Edward Humes' "Monkey Girl"

Edward Humes recently put his latest book, Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul, to the Page 69 Test.

Read--or listen to--a synopsis of the book.

Among the praise for Monkey Girl:
“Inherit the Wind collides with the Woodstock Generation and true believers out of Babbitt, with strange — and highly readable — results… Wondrously titled chapters such as ‘Paleozoic Roadkill, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Bad Frog Beer” provide plenty of sound and fury as they show some very angry people arguing the merits and necessity of science. An illuminating blend of science, religion and politics.”
Kirkus Reviews

Monkey Girl is compelling and unsettling — and a Rosetta Stone for understanding the frightened and oftentimes frightening subculture of Darwin Deniers.”
— Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times columnist, NPR host, and author of Rio LA

“A compelling, page-turning narrative…. A must read for anyone who cares about science, education, and liberty. ”
— Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and author of Why Darwin Matters

“A riveting account of the modern ‘Holy War’ being waged by American fundamentalists in the schoolyard battle over Darwin's dangerous idea. Humes brings this modern American story to life through the richly-drawn portrayals of the citizen-members of the Dover Township school board, as their battle over what our children should be taught moves from one small Pennsylvania town to the country at large.”
— Lee M. Silver, Professor of Molecular Biology & Public Affairs, Princeton University

“Ed Humes' remarkable and balanced narrative has captured the essence of this complex and emotional dispute. When discussing the trial I have frequently found myself saying that to truly understand it, you had to be there. Humes' compelling book accomplishes just that, in that it explains this controversy to the reader in detail. In the face of the many inaccuracies and distortions promulgated by the punditry and others, we happily now have a definitive and thorough account of what really happened both before and during the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial.”
— US District Judge John E. Jones III, who presided over the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution ‘Scopes II’ trial

“Unusually deft analysis ... extensive behind-the-scenes interviews ... well-illuminated by this skilled writer... highly recommended read.”
— Eugenie Scott, executive director, National Center for Science Education and author of Evolution Vs. Creationism: An Introduction
“Gripping... a talent for narrative and an eye for detail... As Edward Humes describes in this lively and thoughtful book, Dover — like Dayton, Tenn., during the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial" — became a proving ground for clashing beliefs about the origins of life and constitutional questions about the separation of church and state."
Washington Post

“This book reads like a novel. Even though I knew how it would turn out, I had to keep going... I knew there was a first-rate dramatic story in the Dover trial, and Edward Humes has written it. Now I'm just waiting for the movie.”
— PZ Myers, Pharyngula
Read an excerpt from Monkey Girl. There is another excerpt at

Earlier this month Humes published an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times, "Dumbing down evolution to kill it."

Listen to a Humes interview with Larry Mantle on KPCC's Airtalk about the issues raised in Monkey Girl.

Ed is the author nine critically-acclaimed books and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for specialized reporting. There is much more about his writing at the Edward Humes website and the Monkey Girl blog.

--Marshal Zeringue