For Good And Evil, Second Edition

Overview

The first edition of Adams' study of the history of taxation had heads turning across the nation, with excited reviews appearing in dozens of national newspapers and magazines in addition to local papers in almost every state. Adams makes a convincing case for taxes being the cause of many of the landmark events in civilization's history. Starting in ancient Egypt, Adams surveys how governments established and collected their taxes, and how these procedures led to the fall of Rome, the rise of Islam and the ...
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Overview

The first edition of Adams' study of the history of taxation had heads turning across the nation, with excited reviews appearing in dozens of national newspapers and magazines in addition to local papers in almost every state. Adams makes a convincing case for taxes being the cause of many of the landmark events in civilization's history. Starting in ancient Egypt, Adams surveys how governments established and collected their taxes, and how these procedures led to the fall of Rome, the rise of Islam and the Arabs' successful conquests, the signing of the Magna Carta, the American Revolution and Civil War, and many other momentous events. Adams also offers suggestions for governments wishing to avoid the fate of previous nations destroyed by ignorant tax policies, something every American will no doubt read with much interest.
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Editorial Reviews

The Wall Street Journal
An acidly witty guide.
Compass Magazine
For Good and Evil is, by any measure, a classic. It should be mandatory reading for every politician, economist, historian, and serious adult in the country.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This sweeping anecdotal survey of taxes through the ages aims to support the author's libertarian attacks on the current U.S. tax system and his call for a flat tax of 10% to replace the current income tax system. Tax attorney Adams ( Fight, Flight, Fraud: The Story of Taxation ) considers taxation a vital force in molding history; his discussions of civilizations ranging from that of ancient Greece to the French ancien regime are sometimes intriguing. For example, he suggests that the offer of tax immunity, rather than religious ideology, may have fueled the spread of Islam in the seventh and eighth centuries. But Adams does not engage other historians to argue his ideas, and he can be inaccurate with facts--forgetting Hugo Black, he writes that by the time of Nixon's presidency, the Supreme Court ``had not had a Southerner for a hundred years.'' Some of his proposed reforms seem worthy--establish a crime for tax extortion, decriminalize the tax law--but others are dubious, such as the suggestion that members of Congress and federal judges be ``immune'' from the IRS. Moreover, his argument that low taxes were crucial to the ``miracle economies'' of Asia is simplistic; still more glaring is his failure to assess the impact of the Reagan administration's tax policies. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Adams, a tax attorney, presents the history of taxation from ancient times to the present. He studies tax law and collection procedures in ancient Egypt, Rome, Israel, Asia, Europe, and the United States, describing how taxation played a pivotal role in such earth-shattering events as the fall of Rome, the signing of the Magna Carta, and the American Revolution. The author analyzes lessons learned through study of the past and recommends measures for possible tax reform. The selected bibliography provides an excellent guide to further research. This important, timely study is highly recommended for business and history collections.-- Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568332352
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 568
  • Sales rank: 1,056,121
  • Product dimensions: 1.27 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Adams has degrees from Whittier College and UCLA, and is a certified specialist in taxation law. Other books of his include Those Dirty Rotten Taxes : The Tax Revolts that Built America. Adams lives in Buffalo, NY and winters in Phoenix, AZ.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface to Revised Edition
Introduction
Pt. I Taxes: What They Are and Where They Began 1
1 Ancient Egypt: The Ubiquitous Scribes 5
2 The Rosetta Stone Speaks - and Tells a Tale of Taxes 17
3 The Age of Terror-Taxation - and the Indomitable Tax Rebels of Ancient Israel 25
4 Israel's Final Hour: From Hanukkah's Glory to Goliath's Triumph 35
5 China: The Mandate of Heaven 45
6 The Ingenious Greek: Tyranny and Taxes 53
7 The Ingenious Greek: Public Revenue without Bureaucracy 65
Pt. II The Kaleidoscopic Romans 75
8 The Early Republic: The Citizens' War-Tax Era 79
9 The Publicani Drive the Republic to Ruin 87
10 Augustus: Master Tax Strategist 97
11 Diocletian's New Order 111
12 Rome Falls: Was It Tax Evasion? 119
Pt. III The Middle Ages 129
13 Islam: Death or Taxes for the Infidel 131
14 Medieval Taxation: When Taxpayers Had God on Their Side 143
15 The Jews: On the Road to the Final Solution 149
16 Medieval England: How Englishmen Purchased Liberty with Taxes 159
Pt. IV Russia, Switzerland, Spain, and Germany 167
17 Russia: The Tax Road to Serfdom and the Soviets 169
18 The Swiss: From William Tell to No-tell 183
19 The Collapse of the Hercules of Europe 191
20 How Cortes and Pizarro Found that Taxes Were the Chink in the Armor of the Aztec and Inca Rulers 203
21 Taxes Forge Modern Germany 209
Pt. V The Ancien Regime 217
22 The Devil's Tax System 221
23 Many Revolts - One Revolution 229
Pt. VI After Magna Carta 239
24 Why Queen Elizabeth I Was Called "Good Queen Bess" 243
25 Taxes Caused the British Civil War 251
26 Parliament Searches for a Better Tax 257
27 The Decline of the Super-Dutch and the Rise of the Super-British 269
28 The Enlightenment Had the Word on Taxation 279
Pt. VII The Rocky Road of Early American Taxation 297
29 Tax Revolt in the Colonies 301
30 The Tax Struggle for "a More Perfect Union" 315
31 Was It Taxes, Rather than Slavery, that Caused the Civil War? 329
Pt. VIII The Monster that Laid the Golden Egg 345
32 The Tax that Beat Napoleon 349
33 Scaffolding for Plunder 361
34 How a Good Tax Goes Bad 375
35 The Artful Dodger: Evasion and Avoidance 395
36 Flight to the Havens: The Offshore World 407
37 The Rise and Fall of the Miracle Economies 421
38 What Constitutions Are Supposed to Do 437
39 Learning from the Past 447
40 Taming the Monster 457
41 Half-Slave and Half-Free 475
Epilogue: The Foursquare 481
Notes 485
Selected Bibliography 509
Illustration Credits 521
Index 523
About the Author 541
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