The Great Tax Wars

Lincoln--Teddy Roosevelt--Wilson How the Income Tax Transformed America

The Great Tax Wars

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.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 432 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743243810 | 
  • November 2004
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About the Author

Steven R. Weisman
Photography by Jeremey Tripp

Steven R. Weisman

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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