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Books that Shaped Work in America

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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. 

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'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

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