The Triptych of the Twenties

Angie Maxwell

in The Indicted South

Published by University of North Carolina Press

Published in print April 2014 | ISBN: 9781469611648
Published online September 2014 | e-ISBN: 9781469614519
The Triptych of the Twenties

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This chapter focuses on journalist H. L. Mencken, attorney Clarence Darrow, and politician and activist William Jennings Bryan, whose interactions contributed to a collective regional identity for white southerners. The Scopes Evolution Trial transformed the three men into regional symbols of competing cultural and political values that remain relevant today. Darrow and Mencken (and the larger body of journalists that he represented) would be demonized as liberal skeptics, embracing modernism and the debauchery and chaos that would surely follow. Bryan would come to represent the cause of religious fundamentalism and states’ rights.

Keywords: regional identity; white southerners; H. L. Mencken; Clarence Darrow; William Jennings Bryan; Scopes Evolution Trial; modernism; religious fundamentalism

Chapter.  9937 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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