Kids at Work

“Kids at Work: The Crusade Against Child Labor” by Lewis Hine highlights the evils of child labor in the beginning of the 20th century. Hine was a New York teacher and during 1908-1918 he crisscrossed the United States investigating labor of little boys and girls who were forced to work for 12 hours per day at factories, canneries and mines.  Lewis was brilliant photographer and his book is personal account of what was witnessed – in particular, it was a crusade against the exploration of child labor in the United States. Hine’s book offers haunting pictures of boys working in coal mines and girls tending dangerous machines at the textile factories.

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Nevertheless, the pictures aren’t the only evidence of child labor in the country. The author couldn’t understand how directors and invested parties could see indifferently the work of immature and tiny children. Moreover, directors claimed they didn’t violate any laws. It means that they considered exploitation of child labor as normal practice. The book is a reminder for everybody about some grim episodes in the country’s history. The author teaches that people should prevent exploitation of child labor.  Because of poverty many children has nothing to do but to work in commercial agriculture and urban sweatshops. And this it is really terrible. Therefore, Hine’s book raises the eternal themes of child labor under shocking conditions in the United States.