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Rabbi Max Heller
Reformer, Zionist, Southerner, 1860-1929
Barbara S. Malone
University of Alabama Press, 1997
This biography of a pioneering Zionist and leader of American Reform Judaism adds significantly to our understanding of American and southern Jewish history.

Max Heller was a man of both passionate conviction and inner contradiction. He sought to be at the center of current affairs, not as a spokesperson of centrist opinion, but as an agitator or mediator, constantly struggling to find an acceptable path as he confronted the major issues of the day--racism and Jewish emancipation in eastern Europe, nationalism and nativism, immigration and assimilation. Heller's life experience provides a distinct vantage point from which to view the complexity of race relations in New Orleans and the South and the confluence of cultures that molded his development as a leader. A Bohemian immigrant and one of the first U.S.-trained rabbis, Max Heller served for 40 years as spiritual leader of a Reform Jewish congregation in New Orleans--at that time the largest city in the South. Far more than a congregational rabbi, Heller assumed an activist role in local affairs, Reform Judaism, and the Zionist movement, maintaining positions often unpopular with his neighbors, congregants, and colleagues. His deep concern for social justice led him to question two basic assumptions that characterized his larger social milieu--segregation and Jewish assimilation. 

Heller, a consummate Progressive with clear vision and ideas substantially ahead of their time, led his congregation, his community, Reform Jewish colleagues, and Zionist sympathizers in a difficult era.

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Rabbinic Authority
Elliot L. Stevens
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1982
Prominent rabbis from both pulpit and academia examine how the rabbinate is affected by halacha, personal charisma, semichah, Reform minhag, and the rabbi's own religious views.

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Rabbi's Manual
David Polish
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 1988
Written in contemporary, gender-inclusive language, the Rabbi's Manual contains traditional and innovative services and ceremonies for birth and infancy, adoption, public and private naming ceremonies, an 8th day covenant service for daughters, four wedding services and associated public prayers, a ritual release at divorce, services at death and memorials, prayers at a time of illness and Giyur (conversion) services and prayers.

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Race, Place, and Reform in Mexican Los Angeles
A Transnational Perspective, 1890-1940
Stephanie Lewthwaite
University of Arizona Press, 2009
Beginning near the end of the nineteenth century, a generation of reformers set their sights on the growing Mexican community in Los Angeles. Experimenting with a variety of policies on health, housing, education, and labor, these reformers—settlement workers, educationalists, Americanizers, government officials, and employers—attempted to transform the Mexican community with a variety of distinct and often competing agendas.

In Race, Place, and Reform in Mexican Los Angeles, Stephanie Lewthwaite presents evidence from a myriad of sources that these varied agendas of reform consistently supported the creation of racial, ethnic, and cultural differences across Los Angeles. Reformers simultaneously promoted acculturation and racialization, creating a “landscape of difference” that significantly shaped the place and status of Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans from the Progressive era through the New Deal.

The book journeys across the urban, suburban, and rural spaces of Greater Los Angeles as it moves through time and examines the rural–urban migration of Mexicans on both a local and a transnational scale. Part 1 traverses the world of Progressive reform in urban Los Angeles, exploring the link between the region’s territorial and industrial expansion, early campaigns for social and housing reform, and the emergence of a first-generation Mexican immigrant population. Part 2 documents the shift from official Americanization and assimilation toward nativism and exclusion. Here Lewthwaite examines competing cultures of reform and the challenges to assimilation from Mexican nationalists and American nativists. Part 3 analyzes reform during the New Deal, which spawned the active resistance of second-generation Mexican Americans.

Race, Place, and Reform in Mexican Los Angeles achieves a full, broad, and nuanced account of the various—and often contradictory—efforts to reform the Mexican population of Los Angeles. With a transnational approach grounded in historical context, this book will appeal to students of history, cultural studies, and literary studies

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Recharging Judaism
How Civic Engagement Is Good for Synagogues, Jews, and America
Rabbi Judith Schindler
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2018

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The Reform and Abolition of the Traditional Chinese Examination System
Wolfgang Franke
Harvard University Press

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Reform and Reformation
England, 1509-1558
G. R. Elton
Harvard University Press, 1977

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Reform in China
Juang Tsun-hsien and the Japanese Model
Noriko Kamachi
Harvard University Press, 1981

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Reform in Nineteenth Century China
Paul A. Cohen
Harvard University Press, 1976

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Reform in Sung China
Wang An-shih (1021–1086) and His New Policies
James T. C. Liu
Harvard University Press

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The Reform of Bismarckian Pension Systems
A Comparison of Pension Politics in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden
Martin Schludi
Amsterdam University Press, 2005
Sluggish economic growth, rising unemployment, and a rapidly aging population all exert financial pressure on public pension systems and highlight the need for major reform. Martin Schludi traces the political process of pension reform in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden from the 1980s onward and skillfully analyzes the various political and economic factors in pension reform, such as gaining public support for policy initiatives. Schludi also considers case studies that range from successfully restructured pension arrangements to complete policy failures. This volume is an essential and valuable resource that demystifies the complex factors involved in social policy reforms driven by fiscal concerns.

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Reform, Recovery, and Growth
Latin America and the Middle East
Edited by Rudiger Dornbusch and Sebastian Edwards
University of Chicago Press, 1994
The debt crisis of 1982 caused serious economic disruptions in most developing countries. Reform, Recovery, and Growth explains why some of these countries have recovered from the debt crisis, while more than a decade later others continue to stagnate.

Among the questions addressed are: What are the requirements for a stabilization policy that reduces inflation in a reasonable amount of time at an acceptable cost? What are the effects of structural reforms, especially trade liberalization, deregulation, and privatization, on growth in the short and long runs? How do macroeconomic instability and adjustment policies affect income distribution and poverty? How does the specific design of structural adjustment efforts affect results?

In this companion to Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America, the authors confirm that macroeconomic stability has a positive effect on income distribution. The volume presents case studies that describe in detail the stabilization experiences in Brazil, Israel, Argentina, and Bolivia, and also includes discussion of Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Turkey.

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Reform Responsa for the Twenty-First Century, Volume 1
Sh'eilot Ut'shuvot
Rabbi Mark Washofsky
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2010

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Reform Responsa for the Twenty-First Century, Volume 2
Sh'eilot Ut'shuvot
Rabbi Mark Washofsky
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2010

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Reforming Legislatures
American Voters and State Ballot Measures, 1792-2020
Peverill Squire
University of Missouri Press, 2024
Legislatures are ubiquitous in the American political experience. First created in Virginia in 1619, they have existed continuously ever since. Indeed, they were established in even the most unlikely of places, notably in sparsely populated frontier settlements, and functioned as the focal point of every governing system devised.
Despite the ubiquity of state legislatures, we know remarkably little about how Americans have viewed them as organizations, in terms of their structures, rules, and procedures. But with the rise of modern public opinion surveys in the twentieth century, we now have extensive data on how Americans have gauged legislative performance throughout the many years. That said, the responses to the questions pollsters typically pose reflect partisanship, policy, and personality. Generally, respondents respond favorably to legislatures controlled by their own political party and those in power during good economic times. Incumbent lawmakers get ratings boosts from having personalities, “home styles” that mesh with those of their constituents. These relationships are important indicators of people’s thoughts regarding the current performance of their legislatures and legislators, but they tell us nothing about attitudes toward the institution and its organizational characteristics.
This study offers a unique perspective on what American voters have historically thought about legislatures as organizations and legislators as representatives. Rather than focusing on responses to surveys that ask respondents how they rate the current performance of lawmakers and legislatures, this study leverages the most significant difference between national and state politics: the existence of ballot propositions in the latter. At the national level Americans have never had any say over Congress’s structure, rules, or procedures. In contrast, at the state level they have had ample opportunities over the course of more than two centuries to shape their state legislatures. The data examined here look at how people have voted on more than 1,500 state ballot propositions targeting a wide array of legislative organizational and parliamentary features. By linking the votes on these measures with the public debates preceding them, this study documents not only how American viewed various aspects of their legislatures, but also whether their opinions held constant or shifted over time. The findings reported paint a more nuanced picture of Americans’ attitudes toward legislatures than the prevailing one derived from survey research. When presented with legislative reform measures on which concrete choices were offered and decisions on them had to be made, the analyses presented here reveal that, counter to the conventional wisdom that people loved their representatives but hated the legislature, voters usually took charitable positions toward the institution while harboring skeptical attitudes about lawmakers’ motives and behaviors.

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Reforming the Reform
Problems of Public Schooling in the American Welfare State
Susan L. Moffitt, Michaela Krug O'Neill, and David K. Cohen
University of Chicago Press, 2023
An expansive study of the problems encountered by educational leaders in pursuit of reform, and how these issues cyclically translate into future topics of reform.

School reform is almost always born out of big dreams and well-meaning desires to change the status quo. But between lofty reform legislation and the students whose education is at stake, there are numerous additional policies and policymakers who determine how reforms operate. Even in the best cases, school reform initiatives can perpetuate problems created by earlier reforms or existing injustices, all while introducing new complications. In Reforming the Reform, political scientist Susan L. Moffitt, education policy scholar Michaela Krug O’Neill, and the late policy and education scholar David K. Cohen take on a wide-ranging examination of the many intricacies of school reform.

With a particular focus on policymakers in the spaces between legislation and implementation, such as the countless school superintendents and district leaders tasked with developing new policies in the unique context of their district or schools, the authors identify common problems that arise when trying to operationalize ambitious reform ideas. Their research draws on more than 250 interviews with administrators in Tennessee and California (chosen as contrasts for their different political makeup and centralization of the education system) and is presented here alongside survey data from across the United States as well as archival data to demonstrate how public schools shoulder enormous responsibilities for the American social safety net. They provide a general explanation for problems facing social policy reforms in federalist systems (including healthcare) and offer pathways forward for education policy in particular.

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The Renewal of the Kibbutz
From Reform to Transformation
Russell, Raymond
Rutgers University Press, 2013
We think of the kibbutz as a place for communal living and working. Members work, reside, and eat together, and share income “from each according to ability, to each according to need.” But in the late 1980s the kibbutzim decided that they needed to change. Reforms—moderate at first—were put in place. Members could work outside of the organization, but wages went to the collective. Apartments could be expanded, but housing remained kibbutz-owned. In 1995, change accelerated. Kibbutzim began to pay salaries based on the market value of a member’s work. As a result of such changes, the “renewed” kibbutz emerged. By 2010, 75 percent of Israel’s 248 non-religious kibbutzim fit into this new category.

This book explores the waves of reforms since 1990. Looking through the lens of organizational theories that predict how open or closed a group will be to change, the authors find that less successful kibbutzim were most receptive to reform, and reforms then spread through imitation from the economically weaker kibbutzim to the strong.

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Response to Reform
Composition and the Professionalization of Teaching
Margaret J. Marshall
Southern Illinois University Press, 2003

Response to Reform: Composition and the Professionalization of Teaching critiques the politics of labor and gender biases inherent in the composition workplace that prevent literacy teachers from attaining professional status and respect. Scrutinizing the relationship between scholarship and teaching, Margaret J. Marshall calls for a reconceptualization of what it means to prepare for and enter the field of composition instruction.

Interrogating the approach the education system takes to certify teachers without actually “professionalizing” their careers, Marshall contends that these programs rely on outdated rhetorics of labor that only widen the gap between teaching and other professional jobs. Such attempts to re-educate literacy teachers exploit and marginalize their work, and thus prevent them from claiming the status of academic professionals. In providing an overview of the history of and language used to literacy instruction, she also points out that while women are overrepresented in composition instruction, they are underrepresented in tenure track and administrative positions.

To correct and combat these inequities, Marshall advocates an alternate alignment of power structures and rhetorical choices. In a wide-ranging survey that sheds new light on the composition workplace as well as higher education at large, Response to Reform: Composition and the Professionalization of Teaching boldly asks us to do away with the reductive language we inherit from the past that characterize teaching and professionalization, as well as our customary responses to public criticism of education. The result is a new articulation of composition as a meritorious profession.


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Rethinking Chinese Socialist Theaters of Reform
Performance Practice and Debate in the Mao Era
Xiaomei Chen, Tarryn Li-Min Chun, and Siyuan Liu, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2021
The profound political, economic, and social changes in China in the second half of the twentieth century have produced a wealth of scholarship; less studied however is how cultural events, and theater reforms in particular, contributed to the dynamic landscape of contemporary Chinese society. Rethinking Chinese Socialist Theaters of Reform fills this gap by investigating the theories and practice of socialist theater and their effects on a diverse range of genres, including Western-style spoken drama, Chinese folk opera, dance drama, Shanghai opera, Beijing opera, and rural theater. Focusing on the 1950s and ’60s, when theater art occupied a prominent political and cultural role in Maoist China, this book examines the efforts to remake theater in a socialist image. It explores the unique dynamics between official discourse, local politics, performance practice, and audience reception that emerged under the pressures of highly politicized cultural reform as well as the off-stage, lived impact of rapid policy change on individuals and troupes obscured by the public record. This multidisciplinary collection by leading scholars covers a wide range of perspectives, geographical locations, specific research methods, genres of performance, and individual knowledge and experience. The richly diverse approach leads readers through a nuanced and complex cultural landscape as it contributes significantly to our understanding of a crucial period in the development of modern Chinese theater and performance.

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Revivals, Awakening and Reform
William G. McLoughlin
University of Chicago Press, 1980
In Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform, McLoughlin draws on psychohistory, sociology, and anthropology to examine the relationship between America's five great religious awakenings and their influence on five great movements for social reform in the United States. He finds that awakenings (and the revivals that are part of them) are periods of revitalization born in times of cultural stress and eventuating in drastic social reform. Awakenings are thus the means by which a people or nation creates and sustains its identity in a changing world.

"This book is sensitive, thought-provoking and stimulating. It is 'must' reading for those interested in awakenings, and even though some may not revise their views as a result of McLoughlin's suggestive outline, none can remain unmoved by the insights he has provided on the subject."—Christian Century

"This is one of the best books I have read all year. Professor McLoughlin has again given us a profound analysis of our culture in the midst of revivalistic trends."—Review and Expositor

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Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism
Reform and Revelation in Oaxaca, 1887–1934
Edward Wright-Rios
Duke University Press, 2009
In Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism, Edward Wright-Rios investigates how Catholicism was lived and experienced in the Archdiocese of Oaxaca, a region known for its distinct indigenous cultures and vibrant religious life, during the turbulent period of modernization in Mexico that extended from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth. Wright-Rios centers his analysis on three “visions” of Catholicism: an enterprising archbishop’s ambitious religious reform project, an elderly indigenous woman’s remarkable career as a seer and faith healer, and an apparition movement that coalesced around a visionary Indian girl. Deftly integrating documentary evidence with oral histories, Wright-Rios provides a rich, textured portrait of Catholicism during the decades leading up to the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and throughout the tempestuous 1920s.

Wright-Rios demonstrates that pastors, peasants, and laywomen sought to enliven and shape popular religion in Oaxaca. The clergy tried to adapt the Vatican’s blueprint for Catholic revival to Oaxaca through institutional reforms and attempts to alter the nature and feel of lay religious practice in what amounted to a religious modernization program. Yet some devout women had their own plans. They proclaimed their personal experiences of miraculous revelation, pressured priests to recognize those experiences, marshaled their supporters, and even created new local institutions to advance their causes and sustain the new practices they created. By describing female-led visionary movements and the ideas, traditions, and startling innovations that emerged from Oaxaca’s indigenous laity, Wright-Rios adds a rarely documented perspective to Mexican cultural history. He reveals a remarkable dynamic of interaction and negotiation in which priests and parishioners as well as prelates and local seers sometimes clashed and sometimes cooperated but remained engaged with one another in the process of making their faith meaningful in tumultuous times.


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Rhetoric and Reform
Erasmus' Civil Dispute With Luther
Marjorie O'Rourke Boyle
Harvard University Press, 1983

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Rivalry and Reform
Presidents, Social Movements, and the Transformation of American Politics
Sidney M. Milkis and Daniel J. Tichenor
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Few relationships have proved more pivotal in changing the course of American politics than those between presidents and social movements. For all their differences, both presidents and social movements are driven by a desire to recast the political system, often pursuing rival agendas that set them on a collision course. Even when their interests converge, these two actors often compete to control the timing and conditions of political change. During rare historical moments, however, presidents and social movements forged partnerships that profoundly recast American politics.

Rivalry and Reform explores the relationship between presidents and social movements throughout history and into the present day, revealing the patterns that emerge from the epic battles and uneasy partnerships that have profoundly shaped reform. Through a series of case studies, including Abraham Lincoln and abolitionism, Lyndon Johnson and the civil rights movement, and Ronald Reagan and the religious right, Sidney M. Milkis and Daniel J. Tichenor argue persuasively that major political change usually reflects neither a top-down nor bottom-up strategy but a crucial interplay between the two. Savvy leaders, the authors show, use social movements to support their policy goals. At the same time, the most successful social movements target the president as either a source of powerful support or the center of opposition. The book concludes with a consideration of Barack Obama’s approach to contemporary social movements such as Black Lives Matter, United We Dream, and Marriage Equality.

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Roots of Reform
Farmers, Workers, and the American State, 1877-1917
Elizabeth Sanders
University of Chicago Press, 1999
Roots of Reform offers a sweeping revision of our understanding of the rise of the regulatory state in the late nineteenth century. Sanders argues that politically mobilized farmers were the driving force behind most of the legislation that increased national control over private economic power. She demonstrates that farmers from the South, Midwest, and West reached out to the urban laborers who shared their class position and their principal antagonist—northeastern monopolistic industrial and financial capital—despite weak electoral support from organized labor.

Based on new evidence from legislative records and other sources, Sanders shows that this tenuous alliance of "producers versus plutocrats" shaped early regulatory legislation, remained powerful through the populist and progressive eras, and developed a characteristic method of democratic state expansion with continued relevance for subsequent reform movements.

Roots of Reform is essential reading for anyone interested in this crucial period of American political development.

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