Economics, History, Law, Reviews

Review: Einhorn, American Taxation, American Slavery

jacket imageThe Washington Times recently reviewed Robin L. Einhorn’s American Taxation, American Slavery. From the review by James Srodes: "In American Taxation, American Slavery, Robin Einhorn, a history professor at the University of California at Berkeley, tells what might have been a complicated story in an engaging and accessible manner. It is her contention that slavery and the reaction to it to a great extent shaped the kind of nation we are today, because it shaped the kind of tax policies we constructed to fund the kind of government we got."
For all the recent attention to the slaveholding of the founding fathers, we still know remarkably little about the influence of slavery on American politics. American Taxation, American Slavery tackles this problem in a new way. Rather than parsing the ideological pronouncements of charismatic slaveholders, it examines the concrete policy decisions that slaveholders and non-slaveholders made in the critical realm of taxation. The result is surprising—that the enduring power of antigovernment rhetoric in the United States stems from the nation’s history of slavery rather than its history of liberty.
Back in April we published a web essay by Einhorn "Tax Aversion and the Legacy of Slavery."