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In this immigrant saga, Danish historian Buk-Swienty delves into the life of one of his most famous countrymen, the photographer Jacob Riis (How the Other Half Lives), whose seminal photographs exposed the deplorable conditions of New York City's tenement housing. After an unhappy love affair, Riis (1849-1914) abandoned comfort and Denmark for poverty and America; he spent three years wandering from town to town, often on the verge of starvation, often contemplating suicide until chance employment as a journalist saved him. This skilled translation superbly demonstrates how Riis drew upon his own experiences as a newly landed immigrant in documenting tenement life and how he developed his craft without formal training or cameras adequate enough to capture images in the darkness of the slums. Buk-Swienty masterfully contextualizes Riis's crucial role in the development of investigative reporting and analyzes the various dilemmas confronting him as he shed his reporter's objectivity to become a committed reformer of socioeconomic ills. Embedded in the gritty narrative is also a touching love story-as the once-rejected Riis manages to win over-and marry-his boyhood love. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.