The Guarded Gate

Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America
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Author(s): Daniel Okrent
Original Publish Date: May 07, 2019
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (14.00 hours)
Product Number: Z100144567
Released: May 07, 2019
Business Term: 2 Year
ISBN: #9781508279914
Narrator/s: Daniel Okrent
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Description

NAMED ONE OF THE "100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF THE YEAR" BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW From the widely celebrated New York Times bestselling author of Last Call—this "rigorously historical" (The Washington Post) and timely account of how the rise of eugenics helped America keep out "inferiors" in the 1920s is "a sobering, valuable contribution to discussions about immigration" (Booklist). A forgotten, dark chapter of American history with implications for the current day, The Guarded Gate tells the story of the scientists who argued that certain nationalities were inherently inferior, providing the intellectual justification for the harshest immigration law in American history. Brandished by the upper class Bostonians and New Yorkers—many of them progressives—who led the anti-immigration movement, the eugenic arguments helped keep hundreds of thousands of Jews, Italians, and other unwanted groups out of the US for more than forty years. Over five years in the writing, The Guarded Gate tells the complete story from its beginning in 1895, when Henry Cabot Lodge and other Boston Brahmins launched their anti-immigrant campaign. In 1921, Vice President Calvin Coolidge declared that "biological laws" had proven the inferiority of southern and eastern Europeans; the restrictive law was enacted three years later. In his trademark lively and authoritative style, Okrent brings to life the rich cast of characters from this time, including Lodge's closest friend, Theodore Roosevelt; Charles Darwin's first cousin, Francis Galton, the idiosyncratic polymath who gave life to eugenics; the fabulously wealthy and profoundly bigoted Madison Grant, founder of the Bronx Zoo, and his best friend, H. Fairfield Osborn, director of the American Museum of Natural History; Margaret Sanger, who saw eugenics as a sensible adjunct to her birth control campaign; and Maxwell Perkins, the celebrated editor of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. A work of history relevant for today, The Guarded Gate is "a masterful, sobering, thoughtful, and necessary book" that painstakingly connects the American eugenicists to the rise of Nazism, and shows how their beliefs found fertile soil in the minds of citizens and leaders both here and abroad.

All formats/editions

CD
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Author(s): Daniel Okrent
Narrator(s): Daniel Okrent
Product Number DD42889
Released: May 07, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781508279945
eBook
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Author(s): Daniel Okrent
Product Number EB00746285
Released: May 07, 2019
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Scribner
ISBN: #9781476798080

Professional reviews

"Daniel Okrent narrates his extensively researched work on the history of eugenics in the United States, illuminating a largely forgotten dark chapter of American history. Given the abundance of detail, Okrent's comfortably relaxed pace is beneficial as he thoroughly describes the birth of the American eugenics movement and its key figures. Okrent chronicles the movement's culmination--its codification of restrictive immigration laws in the 1920s that kept out those considered to be "inferior" by those in power--as well as the movement's connection to the coming rise of Nazism in Europe. Authors narrating their own works can be hit or miss, particularly with works of nonfiction, but, in this case, Okrent's knowledge of the material and his presentation are assets to the production. S.E.G. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"

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