How the other half lived
My thanks to Paul Giambarba for a link to an online version of Jacob Riis’s How the other half lives.
Jacob A Riis, a police-court reporter on The New York Tribune, believing that the camera is a mightier weapon than the pen for attacking the bad conditions that lead to crime, took between 1887 and 1892 a poignant series of photographs to point out to society its obligations to the poor. With his books How the other half lives (1890) and Children of the poor (1892) Riis awakened the conscience of New Yorkers and influenced the Governor of New York State, Theodore Roosevelt, to undertake a number of social reforms, including the wiping our of notorious tenements at Mulberry Bend, Today the Jacob A Riis Neighbourhood Settlement comemorates the photographer’s great work. [Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, A concise history of photography (London: Thames and Hudson, 1965), page 148.]