Jacob Riis was a naturalized American of Danish descent and a man of high ideals of whom Theodore Roosevelt has said next to Theodore’s father, Riis was the best man he ever met.
Riis has been proven susceptible to making errors when relating stories that he has heard, such as TR wearing eyeglasses when he boxed. Also there appears to be no foundation to Jocob Riis’s assertion that Theodore shocked the Harvard all-male Porcellian club by bringing Alice to lunch. Plus there are also a number of theories why Theodore Roosevelt, while in college was asked to leave the Christ Church as Sunday school teacher, that differ from what Riis has written. The real Sunday School story remains a mystery. None of these things impugn Riis character of heart. TR apparently thought highly of him. Much can be learned about a person by understanding their heroes. This particular Riis book has been chosen for our TR library for a number a reasons not least of which are the correlations between some of the interests of Riis’s heroes and the interests which were part of the TR personna.
The forward to this book also reveals Riis’s thoughts about immigration. Anyone who understood TR would be hard pressed to deny that it was similar to TR's position on immigration. For those that only give TR credit for all his accomplishments, you are missing an important fact. TR was fearless and wise and he attracted like minds that adopted him as their leader. He had great success but he did not do it alone. Check out TR’s final Message to the country he loved. Riis's forward (written 10 years prior to the following message ) rings true to what was constantly on TR's lips.
“On Saturday, January 4, (1919) he dictated a message, which was read at a meeting of the American Defense Society at the Hippodrome, New York, on Sunday night, a few hours before he died. In this message he phrased a fresh the thoughts that had been burning in his mind, and this was his last ringing message to the American People:”
It was also similar to his very first public address offered at the Century Club about 40 years earlier. His ever ending theme always touched upon good citizenship.
Launch the book at the bottom of the above URL page link and do a word search. The following sentence starts the story of his first public address.
A certain highbrow club called "The 19th Century Club,"