Faced with increasing numbers of immigrants in the early 20th century, the United States sent special inspectors abroad to learn more about them. Marcus Braun was one such inspector who visited the Ottoman Empire, China, Mexico, and Eastern Europe during the course of his research. Our guest Dr. Randa Tawil, assistant professor of women and gender studies at Texas Christian University, details Braun’s efforts to determine what made some immigrants desirable while others were deemed unfit and how his work and that of other special inspectors influenced U.S. immigration policy.

Intervals is hosted by Christopher Brick, editor and principle investigator of the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers project at George Washington University, and Kariann Yokota, associate professor of history at University of Colorado Denver.

Contact us at podcast@oah.org.