The Great Tax Wars: Lincoln--Teddy Roosevelt--Wilson How the Income Tax Transformed America

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 26, 2004 - Business & Economics - 432 pages
A major work of history, The Great Tax Wars is the gripping, epic story of six decades of often violent conflict over wealth, power, and fairness that gave America the income tax. It's the story of a tumultuous period of radical change, from Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War through the progressive era under Theodore Roosevelt and ending with Woodrow Wilson and World War I. During these years of upheaval, America was transformed from an agrarian society into a mighty industrial nation, great fortunes were amassed, farmers and workers rebelled, class war was narrowly averted, and America emerged as a global power.
The Great Tax Wars features an extraordinary cast of characters, including the men who built the nation's industries and the politicians and reformers who battled them -- from J. P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie to Lincoln, T.R., Wilson, William Jennings Bryan, and Eugene Debs. From their ferocious battles emerged a more flexible definition of democracy, economic justice, and free enterprise largely framed by a more progressive tax system. In this groundbreaking book, Weisman shows how the ever controversial income tax transformed America and how today's debates about the tax echo those of the past.

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THE GREAT TAX WARS: From Lincoln to Wilson--The Fierce Battles Over Money and Power That Transformed the Nation

User Review  - Kirkus

A book to warm an IRS agent's heart: a lucid history and careful defense of the US income tax."Taxes are what we pay for civilized society," Oliver Wendell Holmes observed a century ago, when debate ... Read full review

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User Review  - mjgrogan - LibraryThing

I suppose the most important question is, did I find this book as interesting as I might expect a book about our Federal Tax history to be? The answer, yes. This is a “good read” if – as April 15th ... Read full review


Two Chase Has No Money
Three Every Mans Duty to Contribute
Four There Is No Tax More Equal
Five The Communism of Combined Wealth
Six Fraught with Danger to Each and Every Citizen
Seven A Peculiar Obligation to the State
Eight The Congress Shall Have Power
Nine It Will Lighten the Burdens of the Poor
Ten Here at Last Was Fruition
Eleven What Did We Do? What Did We Do?
Twelve The Dawn of a Day of Righteousness

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About the author (2004)

Steven R. Weisman, vice president for publications and communications at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), previously served as a correspondent, editor, and editorial board member at The New York Times. His book The Great Tax Wars: How the Income Tax Transformed America, received the Sidney Hillman Award in 2003.

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