"Just as its title suggests, this book is a historical review of Federal taxation in America, updating the 1996 first edition by expanding coverage to 2004. It does an excellent job of tracing the key features of Federal taxation since the Federal government took shape with the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. As such, it is a worthwhile read for faculty serious about learning and using the deep structure of taxation in their teaching, research, or public lives." - John E. Karayan, Professor, California State Polytechnic University, The Journal of American Taxation Association
Authoritative and readable, this brief survey is the first comprehensive historical overview of the US federal tax systems published since 1967. Its coverage extends from the ratification of the Constitution to the present day. Brownlee describes the five principal stages of federal taxation in relation to the crises that led to their adoption--the formation of the republic, the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II--and discusses the significant modifications during the Reagan presidency. Now in a new edition, Brownlee extends his coverage to the present, with a new chapter focusing on the current tax policies of the George W. Bush administration. This discussion is set in a larger analysis of contemporary tax and fiscal issues, including war finance, Social Security, and Medicare.