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

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Penguin, 1997 - Social Science - 228 pages
89 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

Review: How the Other Half Lives

User Review  - Marks54 - Goodreads

This book is a classic and an early example of the involved and probing journalism that came to be known as muckraking. Riis provides a series of studies of the various aspects of tenement life in New ... Read full review

Review: How the Other Half Lives

User Review  - Ken - Goodreads

Perhaps the scariest part about reading Jacob Riis's How The Other Half Lives is how much of it still rings true. The New York City of his time is not the New York City of today, especially with the ... Read full review

Contents

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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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