Two images of William Jennings Bryan have settled into the public memory, neither of them flattering. One is the fundamentalist mountebank familiar to viewers of Inherit the Wind, with its fictionalized rendering of the Scopes trial. In it, the character based on Bryan proclaims himself “more interested in the Rock of Ages than the age of rocks.” He is, in short, a crowd-pleasing creationist numbskull, and nothing more.
One indisputable fact about my new book The Professors is that it has upset a lot of people. Indeed a veritable army of detractors has formed to attack it. Thus it has been denounced by a coalition of left-wing organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Association of University Professors, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, People for the American Way and George Soros’ children’s crusade, Campus Progress.