Jacob Riis' "How the Other Hald Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York"

Jacob Riis' "How the Other Hald Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York"

Author: 
Jacob Riis

Riis spent years culminating experiences spent slumming in New York City to write about the reality of the "other half."

Book Excerpt: 
". . .On one of my visits to 'the Bend; I came across a particularly ragged and disreputable tramp, who sat smoking his pipe on the rung of a ladder with such evident philosophic contentment in the busy labor of a score of rag pickers all about him, that I bade him sit for a picture, offering him ten cents for the job. He accepted the offer with hardly a nod, and sat patiently watching me from his perch until I got ready for work. Then he took the pipe out of his mouth and put it in his pocket, calmly declaring that it was not included in the contract, and that it was worth a quarter to have it go in the picture. The pipe, by the way, was of clay, and of the two-for-a-cent kind. But I had to give in. The man, scarce ten seconds employed at honest labor even at sitting down, at which he was an undoubted expert, had gone on strike. He knew his rights and the value of 'work,' and was not to be cheated out of either. . ."
Year of Publication: 
Thu, 1914-01-01
Book Publisher: 
Charles Scribner's Sons