New Americans: The Immigrants

New Americans: The Immigrants
Compare Jacob Riis’s discussion of Chinese immigrants (Doc. 3) to Lee Chew’s account (Doc. 4). As you prepare to write your essay, you might think about specific questions like the following. (You do not need to answer all of these questions in your paper and you may address other issues if they occur to you. These questions are offered primarily to give you some guidance.)
* Who was the intended audience for Jacob Riis’s book, How the Other Half Lives (from which this account is taken)? Who might have read Lee Chew’s account? Are there any other issues (besides audience) that we should consider when evaluating these documents as sources?
* How would you characterize Riis’ attitude towards the Chinese? What are some of the specific views he holds about them (e.g. their strengths, weaknesses, the dangers they pose to American society, the advantages they bring, etc.)? Is his attitude about Chinese immigrants similar to or different from his attitude towards Italian (Doc. 1) and Jewish (Doc. 5) immigrants?
* How does Lee Chew’s account reinforce or undermine Riis’ description of Chinese immigrants? Are there points on which they agree? On what do they disagree? How might you explain the differences in the interpretations you see?
* How might you explain Riis’ published views? How would you square these views with the fact that he is generally considered a œreformer?
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