Engrossing…This fascinating study vividly illuminates the many injustices that the pseudoscience of eugenics inflicted on so many would-be Americans.
— publishers weekly
Written with a grace that any novelist would envy.
— Jeffrey Toobin

A masterful narrative, sprinkled with wit.
— Taylor Branch, author of Parting the Waters: America in the King Years

Sobering, thoughtful and necessary .
— Ken Burns

Engrossing... It’s a grim and sordid story, but Okrent is a companionable, witty, and judicious guide.
— Commentary magazine

The story of this triumph of ignorance has been told before, but never more vividly.... A rigorously historical work.”
— Washington Post

A fascinating, well-told story.
— David Leonhardt, New York Times


What’s so unsettling about Daniel Okrent’s spellbinding history of a previous immigration controversy is how it resonates with today’s debate. Insightful, unsparing, and totally absorbing, this book frames the discussion against a compelling historical backdrop that describes the gap between the American ideal and the American reality.
— Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower and God Save Texas

Daniel Okrent is a gifted social historian. In this powerful, fast-paced, and highly relevant chronicle of bad science and fearful prejudice, Okrent helps us understand how and why our country lost its way about a century ago.
— Evan Thomas, author of The War Lovers

A frighteningly timely book about a particularly ugly period in American history, a bigotry-riddled chapter many thought was closed but that shows recent signs of re-opening…. [A] revelatory and necessary historical account.
— KIRKUS reviews

A vivid new book…jam-packed with appalling examples” of anti-immigrant passions “primarily targeted at Catholics and Jews…
— NEW YORK TIMES book review

A surprising history reminiscent of Okrent’s ‘Last Call’...in its focus on the unlikely alliances that converged to effect political change.
— Boston Globe