Non­fic­tion

The Guard­ed Gate: Big­otry, Eugen­ics, and the Law That Kept Two Gen­er­a­tions of Jews, Ital­ians, and Oth­er Euro­pean Immi­grants Out of America

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

A for­got­ten dark chap­ter of Amer­i­can his­to­ry with impli­ca­tions for the cur­rent day, The Guard­ed Gate: Big­otry, Eugen­ics, and the Law that Kept Two Gen­er­a­tions of Jews, Ital­ians, and Oth­er Euro­pean Immi­grants Out of Amer­i­ca (Scrib­n­er) by Pulitzer Prize final­ist and author of Last Call, Daniel Okrent 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 40 years. A work of his­to­ry with stun­ning rel­e­vance to the present day, The Guard­ed Gate is an impor­tant, insight­ful, tale 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.

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