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The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics, and the Law
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series
Daniel Okrent, Jeffrey Toobin (moderator)
Wed, May 6th, 2020 | 6:30 pm
(Members $24)


In 1920s the United States entered a period of unprecedented isolationism inspired by the rise of the faulty and racist science of eugenics that deemed Jews, Southern Europeans, and people of color inferior races. Daniel Okrent examines this dark period of American history, its connection to the rise of Nazism at home and abroad, and the tragic resonance with American immigration policy today.

Daniel Okrent is the prize-winning author of numerous books, including The Guarded Gate: Bigotry, Eugenics and the Law That Kept Two Generations of Jews, Italians, and Other European Immigrants Out of America. Jeffrey Toobin (moderator) is chief legal analyst for CNN and a staff writer for The New Yorker.


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


By phone: Contact New-York Historical’s in-house call center at (212) 485-9268. Call center is open 9 am–5 pm daily.
Online: Click on the orange “Buy Tickets” button at the top of this page.
In person: Advance tickets may be purchased on site at New-York Historical’s Admissions desk during museum hours.

Advance purchase is required to guarantee seating. All sales are final; refunds and exchanges not permitted. Programs and dates may be subject to change. Management reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers. Program tickets do not include Museum Admission unless otherwise noted.

Through the generosity of Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the New-York Historical Society brings a wide array of extraordinary lectures and dynamic conversations to New York’s Upper West Side.

Creative: Tronvig Group