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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). The Battle with the Slum. 1902.


THREE years ago I published under the title “A Ten Years’ War” a series of papers intended to account for the battle with the slum since I wrote “How the Other Half Lives.” A good many things can happen in three years. So many things have happened in these three, the fighting has been so general all along the line and has so held public attention, that this seems the proper time to pass it all in review once more. That I have tried to do in this book, retaining all that still applied of the old volume and adding as much more. The “stories” were printed in the Century Magazine. They are fact, not fiction. If the latter, they would have no place here.

“The Battle with the Slum” is properly the sequel to “How the Other Half Lives,” and tells how far we have come and how. “With his usual hopefulness,” I read in the annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science of my book three years ago, “the author is still looking forward to better things in the future.” I was not deceived then. Not in the thirty years before did we advance as in these three, though Tammany blocked the way most of the time. It is great to have lived in a day that sees such things done.

J. A. R.
August 27, 1902.