In 1967 Martin Rein and Peter Marris wrote an important book exploring the projects leading to the development of community action and related programs of the Great Society. In it they describe reform as a diffuse process in which preferences clash and evolve. Purposeful reform rarely has the intended consequences. The selection below is taken from the concluding remarks of their book, The Dilemmas of Social Reform, copyright University of Chicago Press, and is reprinted here with permission.



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