21 May 2008

Rediscovering Jacob Riis

In the world of post-modern theory, Jacob Riis is judged harshly. He is accused of all sorts of things - of voyeurism, of objectifying and exploiting the poor, of treating denizens of ghettos and tenements as a problem to be solved. I do not know too much about Riis, but it has seemed to me that this malign view is overly harsh. I recently picked up this new book by Bonnie Yochelson and Daniel Czitrom in hopes it might provide me with enough background to make a more informed judgment. I'll let you know.

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