Jacob Riis Quotes

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When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob A. Riis
In self-defence, you know, all life eventually accommodates itself to its environment, and human life is no exception.
Jacob A. Riis (How the Other Half Lives)
Oh, God! That bread should be so dear, And flesh and blood so cheap!
Jacob A. Riis (How the Other Half Lives)
The world forgets easily, too easily, what it does not like to remember.
Jacob A. Riis
He may have been a trifle wild.
Jacob A. Riis (How The Other Half Lives)
When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it--but all that had gone before.
Jacob A. Riis
How shall the love of God be understood by those who have been nurtured in sight only of the greed of man?
Jacob A. Riis (How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York (with 100+ endnotes))
Like the Chinese, the Italian is a born gambler.
Jacob A. Riis (How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York (with 100+ endnotes))
Out of forty-eight boys twenty had never seen the Brooklyn Bridge that was scarcely five minutes’ walk away, three only had been in Central Park, fifteen had known the joy of a ride in a horse-car. The street, with its ash-barrels and its dirt, the river that runs foul with mud, are their domain.
Jacob A. Riis (How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York (with 100+ endnotes))
Long ago it was said that "one half of the world does not know how the other half lives." That was true then. It did not know because it did not care. The half that was on top cared little for the struggles, and less for the fate of those who were underneath, so long as it was able to hold them there and keep its own seat. There came a time when the discomfort and consequent upheavals so violent, that it was no longer an easy thing to do, and then the upper half fell to inquiring what was the matter. Information on the subject has been accumulating rapidly since, and the whole world has had its hands full answering for its old ignorance.
Jacob A. Riis (How the Other Half Lives)
Mastery requires patience. The San Antonio Spurs, one of the most successful teams in NBA history, have a quote from social reformer Jacob Riis hanging in their locker room: “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob A. Riis
Did not the manager of the Fresh Air Fund write to the pastor of an Italian Church only last year{9} that “no one asked for Italian children,” and hence he could not send any to the country?
Jacob A. Riis (How the Other Half Lives)
Reporter Jacob Riis made it his mission to expose the horrors of poverty in New York. New to working with a camera, his flash actually set the walls of One apartment inhabited by five blind people on fire.
H.W. Brands (American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900)
in 1890, of Jacob A. Riis’s How the Other Half Lives. A pioneering urban journalist, Riis, himself an immigrant from Denmark, had taken powerful photographs of tenement life.
Jon Meacham (The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels)
Jacob Riis in his How the Other Half Lives
David McCullough (The Johnstown Flood)
Reformers believed moral and political relationships were learned in play. Given street-afforded license, kids would grow up bad. “If we let the gutter set its stamp upon their early days,” Jacob Riis warned in 1904, “we shall have the gutter reproduced in our politics.” The antidote to the street was the supervised playground. Settlement houses had opened rudimentary play spaces in the 1890s. In 1898 the Outdoor Recreation League (ORL), founded by Lillian Wald and Charles B. Stover and housed in the College Settlement, opened the city’s first outdoor playground in Hudsonbank Park (at West 53rd Street), whose sand gardens, running track, and equipment were supervised by Hartley House’s headworker. Playground proponents insisted the city take over and expand these programs. An 1898 University Settlement report argued: “Waterloo was won in part on the playing fields of Eton said Wellington; good government for New York may partially be won on the playgrounds of the East Side.” In 1902 the city assumed responsibility for the nine ORL playgrounds created to date. And in 1903 Seward Park became the first municipal park in the country to be equipped as a playground.
Mike Wallace (Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 (The History of NYC Series))
When nothing seems to help, I go back and look at the stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it--but all that had gone before.
Jacob A. Riis
Kada ništa ne pomaže odem i gledam kamenoresca kako udara čekićem po velikom kamenu. Udari i stotinu puta, a na kamenu nema ni pukotine. Ipak, nakon stotinu i prvog udarca kamen pukne na pola...ja znam da nije pukao baš od toga udarca nego od svih prethodnih koji su zadani.
Jacob A. Riis
Stone-cutter’s Credo, as described by photographer and activist Jacob Riis as he contemplated the slow pace of social reform: When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Rich Diviney (The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance)
The real things of life were getting a grip on him more and more,” Jacob Riis observed. In an essay on “fellow-feeling,” written a decade and a half later, Roosevelt maintained that empathy, like courage, could be acquired over time. “A man who conscientiously endeavors to throw in his lot with those about him, to make his interest theirs, to put himself in a position where he and they have a common object, will at first feel a little self-conscious, will realize too plainly his aims. But with exercise this will pass off. He will speedily find that the fellow-feeling which at first he had to stimulate was really existent, though latent, and is capable of a very healthy growth.” Indeed, he argued that a “very large part of the rancor of political and social strife” springs from the fact that different classes or sections “are so cut off from each other that neither appreciates the other’s passions, prejudices, and, indeed, point of view.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Leadership: In Turbulent Times)