The Guarded Gate by Daniel Okrent audiobook

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

By Daniel Okrent
Read by Daniel Okrent

Simon & Schuster Audio 9781476798035
14.01 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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By the widely celebrated New York Times bestselling author of Last Call—the powerful, definitive, and timely account of how the rise of eugenics helped America close the immigration door to “inferiors” in the 1920’s. 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 40 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 characteristic style, both lively and authoritative, 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 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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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Month

A #1 Amazon.com bestseller in Administrative Law 

By the widely celebrated New York Times bestselling author of Last Call—the powerful, definitive, and timely account of how the rise of eugenics helped America close the immigration door to “inferiors” in the 1920’s.

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 40 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 characteristic style, both lively and authoritative, 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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Our two oceans have protected and insulated us, but they have also helped to incubate less attractive features…This is a masterful, sobering, thoughtful, and necessary book.” Ken Burns, New York Times bestselling author and filmmaker
“The story of this triumph of ignorance has been told before, but never more vividly than by Daniel Okrent…A rigorously historical work.” Washington Post
“[An] often surprising history…The Guarded Gate is reminiscent of Okrent’s Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (2010) in its elegant…prose and its focus on the unlikely alliances that converged to effect political change.” Boston Globe
“Spellbinding history…Insightful, unsparing, and totally absorbing.” Lawrence Wright, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Daniel Okrent

Author Bio: Daniel Okrent

Daniel Okrent was the first public editor of the New York Times, an editor-at-large of Time, Inc., and managing editor of Life magazine. He also worked in book publishing as an editor at Knopf and Viking and was editor-in-chief of general books at Harcourt Brace. He was a featured commentator on Ken Burns’s PBS series, Baseball, and is author of four books, one of which, Great Fortune, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in history. Okrent was also a fellow at the Shorenstein Center at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he remains an associate. He lives in Manhattan and on Cape Cod with his wife, poet Rebecca Okrent, and their two children.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 14.01
Audience: Adult
Language: English