Honorable Mention for the 2005 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Government and Political Science, Association of American Publishers
"This is one of the most interesting books about politics, and power, and the way the world is going, that you are ever likely to read. What makes it so fascinating is that it is a mystery story. The mystery is this: how did the repeal of a tax that applies only to the richest 2 percent of American families become a cause so popular and so powerful that it steamrollered all the opposition placed in its way. . . . This is not simply a story about the United States. . . . [T]he moral of the tale is far wider than that. . . . Instead this is a tale about the power of narrative in politics, and the increasing ease with which individual stories can be made the be-all and end-all of political debate."--David Runciman, London Review of Books
"[Michael] Graetz . . . And [Ian] Shapiro . . . Set out to unravel what on the surface appears a mystery . . . Fueled a grassroots campaign that ended up throwing Democrats on the defensive. . . . Graetz and Shapiro make a convincing case that propaganda was not the chief reason the campaign to repeal the estate tax gathered steam. A far more important factor was that throughout the 1990s, the only people in Washington making impassioned moral arguments about it were antitax conservatives."--Eyal Press, The Nation
"Public-policy reporting at its finest. But Death by a Thousand Cuts is much more. It is also an important manual on moral arguments in contemporary politics."--David Cay Johnston, The American Prospect
"[A] lively legislative chronicle."--Amith Shlaes, Financial Times
"An elegant exegesis of the broad-based political forces that were brought together to fight against a tax that affects only the richest 1% to 2%. . . . There is a moral argument in favor of estate taxes that deserves to be heard above the clatter of the repeal juggernaut. This book is one of the first peeps in its defense."--Elizabeth Bailey, The New York Sun
"Death by a Thousand Cuts is a timely and important book. . . [I]t provides an enlightening and insightful account of the American political and tax systems."--Theodore Pollack, New York Law Journal
"Graetz and Shapiro are at their best when depicting the subterranean interplay between activists, think tanks, lobbyists, and donors that fuels federal politics."--Daniel Franklin, Washington Monthly
"How could a tax paid by only the richest 2 percent of Americans become a cause célèbre for a broad swath of middle-class farmers, businessmen and average Joes? [Graetz and Shapiro] provide a fascinating and readable explanation."--Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post
"The book is engaging, enlightening, and thought-provoking. . . . Graetz and Shapiro have written a remarkable book that deserves a wide audience. Their account of 'the fight over taxing inherited wealth' is notable not only for its sophisticated and penetrating analysis, but also for its scrupulous fairness."--Karen C. Burke and Grayson M.P. McCouch, Tax Notes
"Instead of rehashing the tired arguments about whether or not the estate tax should exist, these scholars undertook an incredible series of high-level interviews with the leading actors involved in this critical debate. The result is an easily accessible but highly insightful examination of the tax climate in early 21st century America. . . . Death by a Thousand Cuts clearly sounds a wake-up call to anyone who has not already seen how much the political center has shifted regarding the fundamental issues of what government should do and who should pay for it."--Richard L. Kaplan, National Tax Journal
"However you feel about the death tax, the book will make you glad that the power that controls our deaths is not the same one that controls our taxes."--Accounting Today
Here we are, in the midst of great affluence and a badly skewed distribution of income. Yet, somehow, efforts are well advanced to abolish the estate tax as a first step toward ending the century-old consensus on the idea of progressivity in taxation. Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro tell in vivid detail the sad (at least to me) story of how that is happening.
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(Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve )
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.