Another piece of summer reading arising out of the Nevius book about New York has been Jacob A Riis’s 1890 How the Other Half Lives, a reformist study and indictment of the crushing poverty that then existed in New York and, above all, a trenchant critique of tenement housing. Himself a Danish immigrant, Riis gradually established a career as a police reporter, work that brought him into direct contact with the horrors of the Lower East Side slum district. Riis turned his journalistic skills to good effect, aided by the new medium of flash photography. The result, a powerful combination of campaigning journalism and photography, led to a more enlightened form of architecture that would gradually do away with the cramped and impoverished living conditions that, in Riis’s account, were like a pressure cooker about to explode. This work inspired Jack London’s 1902 The People of the Abyss, a journalistic first-hand account of poverty and living conditions in London’s East End which, in turn, inspired George Orwell’s 1933 Down and Out in Paris and London. Riis clearly found the conditions he described morally abhorrent but in a concluding chapter he cleverly stressed enlightened self interest: the people were a resource (labour); more decent housing conditions would enhance productivity and prevent rioting;  rebuilding the slums would thus be a worthwhile investment; ‘the tenement has come to stay, and must itself be the solution of the problem with which it confronts us.’ The book included designs of a new-style tenement building, with air, light and proper sanitation. It was the beginning of the end of the slum.