|Pages/Publication Date:||496 / 2019|
Current attempts to stifle immigration are not a new development, but in fact echo events from the early 20th century. In this New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the author of Last Call tells the story of the scientists who argued that certain nationalities were inherently inferior, justifying the harshest immigration law in American history. Brandished by 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 United States for decades. As Daniel Okrent reveals, the supporters of this pseudo-science included Calvin Coolidge, Henry Cabot Lodge, Margaret Sanger, Charles Darwin's cousin, and the founder of the Bronx Zoo.
"This is a masterful, sobering, thoughtful, and necessary book." —Ken Burns