Cover image for The guarded gate : bigotry, eugenics, and the law that kept two generations of Jews, Italians, and other European immigrants out of America
The guarded gate : bigotry, eugenics, and the law that kept two generations of Jews, Italians, and other European immigrants out of America
Title:
The guarded gate : bigotry, eugenics, and the law that kept two generations of Jews, Italians, and other European immigrants out of America
ISBN:
9781476798035

9781476798059
Physical Description:
xvi, 478 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents:
Prologue: Ellis Island, 1925 ; Part I: Enough! Enough! We want no more!. The future betterment of the human race ; Thrifty, capable Yankee blood ; The warfare of the cradle ; The kindled fire ; Short, sober, musical rapists ; To hell with Jews, Jesuits, and steamships! -- Part II: The perfect weapons of science. Heaven-sent Madison Grant ; A carnival of exclusion ; The coming of the quota ; Science is our polestar ; 6,346,856 inferior immigrants ; Without foundation ; The train of consequences -- Epilogue: Liberty Island, 1965.
Abstract:
"From Pulitzer Prize finalist Daniel Okrent, the definitive and timely account of a forgotten dark chapter of American history. The Guarded Gate tells the story of the scientists who provided the intellectual justification for the harshest immigration law in American history and the men who turned their 'science' into politics. Brandished by the upper-class Bostonians and New Yorkers--many of them progressives--who led the anti-immigration movement, eugenicist arguments ranking the presumed genetic virtue of various ethnic groups helped keep hundreds of thousands of Jews, Italians, and other unwanted groups out of the United States for more than forty years. In the early 1890s, Henry Cabot Lodge and other Boston Brahmins began a three-decade campaign to close the immigration door. By 1921, the wide acceptance of eugenic doctrine enabled Vice President Calvin Coolidge to declare that 'biological laws' had proven the inferiority of southern and eastern Europeans; the restrictive law that remained U.S. policy until 1965 was enacted three years later. In his characteristic lively and authoritative style, Daniel Okrent brings to life the rich cast of characters: Theodore Roosevelt, Lodge's closest friend, who feared 'race suicide'; Charles Darwin's first cousin Francis Galton, the idiosyncratic polymath who gave life to eugenics; Madison Grant, the fabulously wealthy and profoundly bigoted founder of the Bronx Zoo; Grant's best friend, H. Fairfield Osborn, the aggressively anti-Semitic director of the American Museum of Natural History; Margaret Sanger, who saw eugenics as a sensible adjunct to her birth control campaign; Maxwell Perkins, the celebrated editor of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, who also published the leading proponents of 'scientific racism.' A work of history relevant for today, The Guarded Gate is an important, insightful tale that painstakingly connects the work of the American eugenicists to Nazi racial policies and shows how their beliefs found fertile soil in the minds of citizens and leaders both here and abroad."--Dust jacket.
Format:
Book
Production, Publication, Distribution, Manufacture, and Copyright Notice:
New York : Scribner, 2019.