Jacob Riis book is a well-concocted mixture of factual research and emotionally heart-rending stories about the lives of those who lived in New York’s notorious tenements.
The book discusses the problem thoroughly and then ends with a practical solution citing examples where such changes have been implemented.
For this book the poor are the thousands of immigrants to America who are stuck in low paying jobs(some with wages as low as $2) and living in terrible conditions in the tenements. The conditions that he describes are appalling and it is these discussions which actually help define what poverty. Poverty is degrading, with human beings living in filthy and overcrowded badly-maintained buildings and it destroys the human spirit and mind. Poverty is when a mother kills her infant because it is crying for food and she can’t feed it or when a girl is forced into something prostitution because she can no longer support her family on the measly salary she gets as a sales-girl.
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