Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom


“William Jennings Bryan launched the creationist crusade from his home in Florida, and the state has been a battlefield in the evolution wars ever since. In Going Ape, Haught provides the definitive blow-by-blow account of the Sunshine State’s ninety-year struggle over the teaching of evolution.”—Glenn Branch, deputy director, National Center for Science Education
“A ...

See more details below
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$24.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (14) from $9.49   
  • New (10) from $9.50   
  • Used (4) from $9.49   
Going Ape: Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$12.99 List Price


“William Jennings Bryan launched the creationist crusade from his home in Florida, and the state has been a battlefield in the evolution wars ever since. In Going Ape, Haught provides the definitive blow-by-blow account of the Sunshine State’s ninety-year struggle over the teaching of evolution.”—Glenn Branch, deputy director, National Center for Science Education
“A fascinating and important account of the battles over evolution in one of the nation's largest states.”—Michael Ruse, author of The Gaia Hypothesis
“A compelling read about key issues of our time that have stirred deep passions and fervent protests for over a century.”—Edgar Canter Brown Jr., coauthor of The Supreme Court of Florida, 1917–1972
For nearly a century, Florida has been a key battleground for the teaching of evolution in public schools. Before he successfully prosecuted Tennessee teacher John Scopes in the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial, William Jennings Bryan was a prominent anti-evolution agitator in Florida. More than ninety years later, tensions still run high on both sides of the issue, erupting regularly and sometimes spectacularly.

Florida is a bellwether in the creationism versus evolution debate because it reflects the makeup of the country as a whole. With its lively mix of young and old, liberal and conservative, rich and poor, Florida is an agglomeration of national opinions; more purple than red or blue. Brandon Haught tells the riveting story of the intense conflicts over teaching evolution in Florida, revealing how not just this state, but the entire country has been Going Ape over this hot-button issue.

These seemingly ceaseless battles feature some of the most colorful culture warriors imaginable: a real estate tycoon throwing his fortune into campaigns in Miami; lawmakers attempting to insert the mandatory teaching of creationism into bills; and pastors and school board members squabbling in front of the national media that invariably descends on their small towns. Yet the majority of participants have been average people, and Haught expertly portrays the sense of moral duty that drives their passions, regardless of their position on the issue.

Personally involved in the Florida evolution dispute since 2006 as a founding board member of Florida Citizens for Science, Haught is uniquely poised to present this dramatic conflict from an insider’s point-of-view. His eye for rich detail enlivens this engrossing saga as it stretches across the decades of the twentieth century and into the present. Given a social climate where the teaching of evolution continues to sharply divide neighbors and communities, Going Ape is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of public education.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

 “A meticulous account of the 90-year debate over the teaching of evolution in Florida’s public schools… full of high drama and raw emotion.”—Weekly Standard
Library Journal
That Darwinism has been debated since the 1920s suggests that the issue goes beyond the realm of science. As Haught (public information officer, Volusia Cty. Sheriff's Office) points out, the acceptance of evolution—and particularly the teaching of evolution—is more of an emotional than an intellectual struggle. In what is essentially a "micro history," Haught shows how the tenor of the debate has shifted over time: from William Jennings Bryan's struggle against "monkey teaching" in the 1920s (Bryan moved to Florida at the conclusion of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial), up to the present. Each chapter surveys a different time period and examines the types of legislation that were proposed, how each bill sought to moderate evolution's influence in the classroom, and how the legislation fared. For this reviewer, it would have been helpful to hear more about how Haught, a nonacademic, researched the book, as he inadequately explains the differences among the various parts of Florida where these debates play out. Also, the author's claim that Florida deserves special scrutiny because it is "a reflection of the whole country" fails to convince. VERDICT This book will likely appeal to a narrow range of readers only.—Seth Kershner, Northwestern Connecticut Community Coll. Lib., Winsted
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813049434
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,471,153
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Brandon Haught is a former Marine Corps combat correspondent and current biology teacher at University High School, Orange City. He is a founding board member and volunteer communications director for Florida Citizens for Science.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)