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American journalist JACOB AUGUST RIIS (1849-1914) was the man for whom the term muckraker was coined, and the reason why is perfectly stark in this collection of true stories from the slums of late-19th-century New York City.As a police reporter and photographer for several newspapers in the 1870s, Riis became intimate with-and disgusted by-the most crime-ridden areas of the city, which were inevitably the poorest and most overpopulated by desperate immigrants. An immigrant himself-Riis had emigrated from Denmark-his work had morphed, by the 1880s, into a humanitarian cry for help for the city's most impoverished citizens, and culminated in his groundbreaking 1891 book How the Other Half Lives, a pioneering work of photojournalism that revealed the inhuman conditions of New York's tenements to an oblivious upper class.The Battle with the Slum, dating from 1902, is the sequel to that book, documenting much that had changed in a mere decade, thanks to Riis's own advocacy, and how much work still remained to be done.A replica of that first 1902 edition, complete with all the original photographs and illustrations, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of New York, of social justice, and of activist journalism.
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