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How the Other Half Lives

How the Other Half Lives - Jacob Riis Jacob Riis release of...

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Jacob Riis Jacob Riis’ release of How the Other Half Lives changed our great country. His use of flash photography and detailed descriptions of industrial New York City opened the eyes of many who had never seen the tragic world that so many people were living in. Some say that Riis hurt these people by using racial stereotypes and making them look like monsters, rather than helping them. However, it is clear that Jocob Riis’ work in publishing such an investigative and informative novel was a cry for help and accomplished far more good than bad. When examining How the Other Half Lives and its great affect on helping to reform the world of poverty in cities across America, I think it is very important to first, take a look at its writer. Jacob Riis was born and raised in the small town of Ribe, Denmark in 1849. He had thirteen brothers and sisters and was the son of a schoolmaster. Growing up, Jacob spent much of his childhood working in the local sewer systems. He often volunteered his time with a less fortunate family living in a local tenement. Riis’ father always wanted him to enter the literary field, but early in his career, he chose carpentry. Jacob soon decided that it was time to prove himself as a working class man and moved to the city to find work. For approximately seven years,
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