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Tax As Urban Legend, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2008

Tax As Urban Legend, Anthony C. Infanti

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In this essay, I review UC-Berkeley history professor Robin Einhorn's book, American Taxation, American Slavery. In this provocatively-titled book, Einhorn traces the relationship between democracy, taxation, and slavery from colonial times through the antebellum period. By re-telling some of the most familiar set piece stories of American history through the lens of slavery, Einhorn reveals how the stories that we tell ourselves over and over again about taxation and politics in America are little more than the stuff of urban legend.

In the review, I provide a brief summary of Einhorn's discussion of the relationship between slavery and ...