Numerous books and articles have outlined Darwin's impact on American scientists, philosophers, businessmen, and clergy in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Few, however, have undertaken a study of Darwinism in the form in which it was presented to most Americans -- popular newspapers and magazines. The main concern of this book is to identify how the press is treated as a part of our culture - - pointing to its ability to shape and to be shaped by the forces that act on the rest of society and its ability to be critical in the interpretation of ideas for "the masses."
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction. Darwin and Evolution. Initial Shock: Publication of The Origin of Species, 1860. From Blasphemy to Gospel: The Evolution Debate in American Magazines, 1857-1887. E.L. Godkin and the New Science of Society. Racism and Darwinism. The Scopes Trial: The Press Confirms Empiricism. Creationism and the Continuing Conflict. Darwinism, the Press, and Ideas.
"...this is a valuable book. It reminds us that the history of the press is not just the history of the First Amendment or of media institutions. It is also the history of ideas, and of how those ideas become part of our general cultural discourse."
"An ideal research project is one that, first, explores a specific subject thoroughly and intelligently and, second, connects that subject to broader issues and ideas. Clearly this book accomplishes both those goals; moreover, it does so in an interesting fashion."