The Other Half: The Life of Jacob Riis and the World of Immigrant America

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 331 pages
1 Review
Drawing on previously unexamined diaries and letters, The Other Half marvelously re-creates the moving story of Jacob Riis, the legendary Progressive reformer and muckraking photographer. Born in 1849 in rural Denmark, Riis immigrated to America in 1870 following a devastating romantic breakup. Penniless and starving, Riis stumbled into journalism, eventually becoming a charismatic police reporter for the New York Tribune, where he befriended Theodore Roosevelt and witnessed firsthand the appalling tenement conditions of late nineteenth-century New York. His resulting expos , How the Other Half Lives, was the first major American muckraking book. It brought Americans in touch with their lost humanity, establishing a precedent for Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens, Jane Addams, and Upton Sinclair. Described by Roosevelt as "the ideal American," Riis died in 1914, mourned by millions, a celebrated hero. Tom Buk-Swienty's long-awaited biography, a superb evocation of the muckraking era, is a compelling work, designed with 55 haunting images from Riis's own photographic oeuvre.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

THE OTHER HALF: The Life of Jacob Riis and the World of Immigrant America

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Solid though blandly written biography of the pioneering investigative journalist.Buk-Swienty (Journalism/Univ. of Southern Denmark) recounts the remarkable story of how Jacob Riis (1849-1914) rose ... Read full review

Contents

The Icieai American
1
The Old Town
13
The Early Years
19
Heartache
35
A Terrible Homesickness
47
The Fast March to Buffalo
63
My Lovely Dream
75
True Love Can Never Die
87
Anatomy of the Slums
155
The Reformers
179
Intruders
203
Flower Power
219
The Manifesto
229
Brothers
245
The Golden Years
257
The Making of an American
271

The Still Centre of a Cyclone
97
A Second Proposal
105
Fat and Strong
119
Police Reporter
133
Epilogue
286
Selected Bibliography
307
Credits
315
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Annette Buk-Swienty lives in southern Denmark with her husband, historian Tom Buk-Swienty, and their two children.

Bibliographic information