Generally speaking

The nearly undisputed authority on American fundamentalism is George Marsden at the University of Notre Dame. See especially his Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism, 1870-1925 (Oxford, 1980) for a balanced and engaging analysis by an evangelical scholar.

To get the views of fundamentalist historians—and some details and "attitude" you won't find in Marsden—see George W. Dollar's A History of Fundamentalism in America (Bob Jones, 1973) and David O. Beale's In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism Since 1850 (Unusual, 1986).

Biographies tell the story

Early fundamentalism was defined by vigorous leaders who were vigorous individualists, and good biographies are available on many of them. Two you might begin with: D. G. Hart's Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America (Johns Hopkins, 1994) and C. Allyn Russell's Voices of American Fundamentalism: Seven Biographical Studies (Westminster, 1976).

To better understand the modernist point of view, see William R. Hutchison's The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism (Harvard, 1976), and read a biography of a moderate modernist like Harry Emerson Fosdick: Preacher, Pastor, Prophet (Oxford, 1985) by Robert M. Miller.

The trial of the century

The Scopes trial continues to fascinate, but nearly all accounts are biased in favor of Darrow, as is Irving Stone's Clarence Darrow for the Defense (Doubleday, 1941)—though Stone can write.

You'll do better to check out a copy of Sheldon N. Grebstein, The Monkey Trial: The State of Tennessee vs. John Thomas Scopes (Houghton Mifflin, 1960), which contains edited transcripts from the trial, as well as key portions of ...

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