Skip to page content
Office of the Secretary
Bookmark and Share
Books that Shaped Work in America

Recommend a Book Recommend a book Follow Us DOL Facebook DOL Twitter


Title    Author    Year    Contributors
How the Other Half Lives

How the Other Half Lives

Author: Jacob Riis

Year Published: 1890

Description: This photographic journal exposed the abysmal living and working conditions of poor immigrants on Manhattan's Lower East Side in the late 19th century, attributing blame for the squalor to middle and upper class avarice and arguing an economic as well as moral imperative for taking action.  An early example of muckraking journalism, the book helped spur the destruction of some of the worst tenements and sweatshops — in which child labor and other unfair labor practices were rampant — and led to significant education reforms in New York City. 

Recommended by:

What Others are Saying

'The children of the poor grow up in joyless homes to lives of wearisome toil that claims them at an age when the play of their happier fellows has but just begun.  Has a yard of turf been laid and a vine been coaxed to grow within their reach, they are banished and barred out from it as from a heaven that is not for such as they.'

How the Other Half Lives

What does this book have to do with the U.S. Department of Labor?

The Department of Labor touches almost every aspect of working in America, including:



Books that Shaped Work in America             Title    Author    Year    Contributors    Printer Friendly List    Sortable List




Notable Contributors