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The Making of an American

An Autobiography

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Author: Jacob A. Riis
Published: 1901
Language: English
Wordcount: 103,087 / 277 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 76.4
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 531 5917
Genre: Biography

As a study of city conditions no American should neglect this graphic story.

Show Excerpt

," mainly because of my constant bothering with the sewerage of our house, which was of the most primitive kind. An open gutter that was full of rats led under the house to the likewise open gutter of the street. That was all there was of it, and very bad it was; but it had always been so, and as, consequently, it could not be otherwise, my energies spent themselves in unending warfare with those rats, whose nests choked the gutter. I could hardly have been over twelve or thirteen when Rag Hall challenged my resentment. My methods in dealing with it had at least the merit of directness, if they added nothing to the sum of human knowledge or happiness. I had received a "mark," which was a coin like our silver quarter, on Christmas Eve, and I hied myself to Rag Hall at once to divide it with the poorest family there, on the express condition that they should tidy up things, especially those children, and generally change their way of living. The man took the money--I have a vague recollection of seeing a stunne



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