How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York

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Penguin, 1997 - Social Science - 228 pages
75 Reviews
Jacob Riis's illustrated tour of New York's slums had an immediate and extraordinary impact on society, inspiring reforms that changed the face of the city. In 1890, when the book was published, the Lower East Side was a landscape of teeming streets and filthy tenements crowded with immigrants living in dreadful conditions. How the Other Half Lives brings them to life - the Italians, Jews, Bohemians (Czechs and Slovaks), Blacks, and Chinese - in precise descriptions of their habits and traditions, jobs and wages, rents paid and meals eaten, and explores the effects of crime, poverty, alcohol, and lack of education and opportunity on adults and children alike. Riis's reliance on specific, hard facts as the tools and weapons of social criticism pioneered the style of crusading journalism that continues today. His use of photographs (reproduced in this edition) to put faces to his stories was a landmark in photojournalism.
  

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Thw writing is superb and moving. - Goodreads
Particularly engaging in editions with photographs. - Goodreads
The pictures are of huge assistance.) - Goodreads
The writing is proto-Joseph Mitchell. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

All Liberals and those who profess to be humanitarians need to read this book. Riis, a reporter for a New York newspaper, investigated the tenements and the society that calls them home. This book is ... Read full review

Review: How the Other Half Lives

User Review  - Vered - Goodreads

This book offered a great insight into poor urban life and the conditions within the tenements during the final decade of the 19th century. I thoroughly appreciated Riis's use of statistics and events/descriptions to enlighten his readers to one of the main issues of his day. Read full review

Contents

Genesis of the Tenement
9
The Awakening
17
The Mixed Crowd
21
The Down Town Backalleys
26
The Italian in New York
41
The Bend
46
A Raid on the Stalebeer Dives
58
The Cheap Lodginghouses
66
The Problem of the Children
135
Waifs of the Citys Slums
141
The Street Arab
147
The Reign of Rum
159
The Harvest of Tares
164
The Working Girls of New York
176
Pauperism in the Tenements
183
The Wrecks and the Waste
191

Chinatown
73
Jewtown
82
The Sweaters of Jewtown
92
The BohemiansTenementhouse Cigarmaking
103
The Color Line in New York
112
The Common Herd
120
The Man with the Knife
196
What Has Been Done
199
How the Case Stands
209
APPENDIX
219
EXPLANATORY NOTES
225
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Luc Sante teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College. His books include Low Life, Evidence, and The Factory of Facts.

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