Income Tax and Inequality in US History

Income tax is a troubling issue in American politics and history. We explain its long and complicated history, and delve into the even more complicated history of how personal income tax has related to the question of equality and inequality in US society. Professor Nash tells us how the American government has raised funds for peacetime needs and, of course, times of war. It’s not a simple tale of taxes rising as the country grew and the US government grew. Taxation is perhaps the most difficult thing to explain in American governmental history, but we make it easy to understand.

Buzzkill Bookshelf

W. Elliot Brownlee, Federal Taxation in America: A History

This authoritative and readable survey is a comprehensive historical overview of federal taxation and fiscal policy in the United States, extending from the era of the American Revolution to the present day. Brownlee relates the principal stages of federal taxation to the crises that led to their adoption, including but not limited to: the formation of the republic, the Civil War, World War I and II, and the challenges to government that took hold during the 1980s. Its interdisciplinary interpretation makes it perfect for scholars, graduate students and advanced undergraduate students.