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Democracy Reformed: Richard Spencer Childs and his Fight for Better Government (Hardback)
  • Democracy Reformed: Richard Spencer Childs and his Fight for Better Government (Hardback)
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Democracy Reformed: Richard Spencer Childs and his Fight for Better Government (Hardback)

(author)
£67.00
Hardback 264 Pages / Published: 23/07/1997
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This biography, the first of Richard Spencer Childs, begins in the Progressive Era when Childs initiated and pursued two fertile ideas: the short ballot doctrine and the council-manager plan. Childs understood that the simplification of the task of the voter was a question pressing for solution and that the council-manager plan would transform municipal government. This comprehensive work discusses other aspects of Childs' broad reform agenda. His proposals included: county government reform; reform in state government administration; unicameral state legislatures; reapportionment of state legislatures; selection of judges by appointment; replacement of elective county coroners with appointed professional medical examiners; democratization of state political parties; and reform of the Presidential nominating system. Based on Childs' papers and personal interviews with Childs, this biography advances scholarship on the Progressive Era and contributes to the historiographical debate on the nature of reform.

Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 9780313301445
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 542 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Bernard Hirschhorn has built a splendid biography that combines the personal side of a dedicated man with his substantive achievements in making local government direct, accessible, and understandable. The text clearly distinguishes and explains the complementary components of the ideal city. The discussion of proportional representation for example, is the best, most concise explaination I have seen. The author has captured the interlocking elements of civic reform in ways that help us conceptualize changes."-Public Management
"Hirschhorn makes the important point that the Progressives' commitment to efficiency was not simply a smokescreen for economy in government...instead, by 'efficiency, ' Progressives like Childs meant the ability to discern the popular will and to translate it into practice."-The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
"A splendid biography that combines the personal side of a dedicated man with his substantive achievements in making local government direct, accessible, and understandable. The text clearly distinguishes and explains the complementary components of the ideal city. The discussion of proportional representation, for example, is the best, most concise explanation I have seen."-Public Management
"Democracy Reformed is a thoroughly researched, well-structured and well-written study that is, essentially, a narrative biography of one of America's great political reformers. As the first full-scale biography of Childs, Hirschhorn's study has filled a hole in the historical record and should be read by anyone interested in American political reform, particularly municipal government reform, during the twentieth century."-New York History
?Hirschhorn makes the important point that the Progressives' commitment to efficiency was not simply a smokescreen for economy in government...instead, by 'efficiency, ' Progressives like Childs meant the ability to discern the popular will and to translate it into practice.?-The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
?A splendid biography that combines the personal side of a dedicated man with his substantive achievements in making local government direct, accessible, and understandable. The text clearly distinguishes and explains the complementary components of the ideal city. The discussion of proportional representation, for example, is the best, most concise explanation I have seen.?-Public Management
?Democracy Reformed is a thoroughly researched, well-structured and well-written study that is, essentially, a narrative biography of one of America's great political reformers. As the first full-scale biography of Childs, Hirschhorn's study has filled a hole in the historical record and should be read by anyone interested in American political reform, particularly municipal government reform, during the twentieth century.?-New York History
?Bernard Hirschhorn has built a splendid biography that combines the personal side of a dedicated man with his substantive achievements in making local government direct, accessible, and understandable. The text clearly distinguishes and explains the complementary components of the ideal city. The discussion of proportional representation for example, is the best, most concise explaination I have seen. The author has captured the interlocking elements of civic reform in ways that help us conceptualize changes.?-Public Management
"[A]n outstanding description and evaluation of Richard Childs' life-long crusade to strengthen democracy within local government."-David Scott Arnold independent writer
"Dr. Hirschhorn has captured the energy and enthusiasm of one of the great pioneers of political reform....This book will be of inestimable value to researchers examining the history of this movement toward professionalism in cities."-Terrell Blodgett Mike Hogg Professor Emeritus in Urban Management The University of Texas at Austin
"[Richard Childs] was the epitome of the Progressive Era crusader. However, he uniquely lived 50 years beyond that time and so helped keep alive, and follow through to success, many of [the] reform age ideas."-William J. D. Boyd Former President, Mud-Hudson Pattern for Progress, 1980-1993 Assistant Director, National Municipal League, 1969-1978
"Incredibly, [this book] is the first full-scale, interpretive biograpy of the man who had a greater impact upon the structure of municipal government in the 20th century United States than any other person. Bernard Hirschhorn has told his story with sensitivity and grace."-Kenneth T. Jackson Jacques Barzun Professor of History and the Social Sciences Columbia University
"Few city managers, local government specialists, even 20th-century historians, probably have heard the name 'Richard Childs.' Yet, more than any other single person, he was responsible for 'inventing' and promoting the institution of council-manager government. Dr. Hirschhorn has written a splendid, comprehensive biography of Childs, his work and ideas, that so significantly transformed the landscape of modern urban America. Democracy Reformed is certainly a must-read for professionals working in this field who want to gain a deeper appreciation of 'their calling.'"-Richard Stillman, Professor, Public Administration University of Colorado at Denver

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