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The Making of an American Paperback – June 14, 2016
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About the Author
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914) was the first reformer to effectively convey to a wide public the unacceptable nature of living conditions endured by the urban poor. His use of the relatively new medium of photography brought an unprecedented power to his message. In 1870 Riis, born in Ribe, Denmark, arrived in New York as a Danish immigrant, one among thousands of the poor, friendless, and unskilled. Like so many, he frequently spent nights in police station lodging houses, the shelters of last resort in late nineteenth-century New York. He soon left the city to work at an assortment of rural jobs, but returned in 1877 to find steady employment as a police reporter for the Tribune (1877–88) and, later, the Evening Sun (1888–99). New York’s police headquarters was then on Mulberry Street, in the heart of the Lower East Side slum district. As Riis’s familiarity with the neighborhood’s squalid living conditions deepened, he began to employ his journalistic skills to convey his revulsion to the public.
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This book is worth the wait it takes to find it. It not only tells Riis's story of his battle with the slums, but it is also the story of a simple man's journey to America and how he fell in love with her. Intertwined is a love story that if not for history would be quite unbelievable in its romance and ending. The book shows what the faith of one man can accomplish in our world when that faith is put into action. This is a heart-warming and positive book that should be reprinted (see note below).
n.b. I believe it has now been reprinted ***RE-PRINT*** The making of an American.