How the Other Half Lives Special Illustrated Edition Including the Authors Photographs

ISBN-10: 1438296630
ISBN-13: 9781438296630
Edition: N/A
Authors: Jacob Riis
List price: $7.95
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Description: How the Other Half Lives was a pioneering work of photojournalism by Jacob Riis, documenting the squalid living conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s. It served as a basis for future muckraking journalism by exposing the slums to New York  More...

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Book details

List price: $7.95
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication date: 10/2/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 184
Size: 7.00" wide x 10.00" long x 0.46" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

How the Other Half Lives was a pioneering work of photojournalism by Jacob Riis, documenting the squalid living conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s. It served as a basis for future muckraking journalism by exposing the slums to New York City's upper and middle class. How The Other Half Lives quickly became a landmark in the annals of social reform. Riis documented the filth, disease, exploitation, and overcrowding that characterized the experience of more than one million immigrants. He helped push tenement reform to the front of New York's political agenda, and prompted then-Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt to close down the police-run poor houses. Roosevelt later called Riis "the most useful citizen of New York". Riis's idea inspired Jack London to write a similar exposé on London's East End, called People of the Abyss.

Jacob Riis was a crusading journalist-photographer whose exposes of the living and working conditions of the New York City poor during the late nineteenth century inspired that generation of American journalists known as the Muckrakers. He was uncompromising in his commitment to his work, regarding journalism as a noble profession in an era when few others did. One of 16 children born to a part-time reporter in Ribe, Denmark, Riis emigrated to the United States as a young man and worked for a while as a carpenter. He got a job writing for the South Brooklyn News in 1874. For the next quarter of a century, he reported on "how the other half lives" for that paper, the New York Tribune (1877--88), and the New York Evening Sun (1888--99), documenting in prose and photograph the appalling slum life of New York's poor, the dreadful tenements in which they lived, the sweatshops where they and their children labored, the brutal crimes they committed and endured, and the police corruption that helped preserve these conditions. His harrowing portrayals of poverty and crime are classic works of photojournalism that influenced younger journalists and moved a future president, Theodore Roosevelt, to vow to clean up New York when he became head of the city's police board. Riis retired from active journalism toward the end of the century, becoming a popular lecturer and book writer. In The Making of an American (1901), a book still read today, he told the tale of his emigration and Americanization.

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