The very word "taxes" sends shivers up spines. Yet very few realize the tremendous impact that taxation has had on civilization. Charles Adams changes that in this newly revised and enlarged edition of his fascinating history. Taxation, says Adams, has been a catalyst of history, a powerful influence on and sometimes the direct cause of many of the famous events that have marched across the world's stage as empires collided and battled for the right to tax the loser. For Good and Evil is the first book to examine how taxation has been a key factor in world events. Like the Rosetta Stone--itself a tax document--the book sheds fresh light onto much of history. Did you know that biblical Israel split after Solomon's death because his son refused to cut taxes? That Rome rose to greatness because of a liberal tax regime but declined under corrupt and inefficient ones? That in Britain Lady Godiva made her famous ride as a tax protest? That in Switzerland William Tell was made to shoot the apple off his son's head as punishment for tax resistance? Or that Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, was a Customs House? Combining facts with thought-provoking comment Adams frequently draws parallels between tax events of the past and those of the present. Finding fault with the way Western civilization is taxed, he provides ideas for curing those faults by using the valuable lessons that history has taught. The special value of this refreshing look at history lies in the lessons to be drawn by all taxpayers: "Taxes are the fuel that makes civilization run, but how we tax and spend determines to a large extent whether we are prosperous or poor, free or enslaved, and most importantly, good or evil." Once you read For Good and Evil, you'll never feel the same about taxes.
Working from the premise that "wars have seldom been justified," Adams argues that not only was the Civil War avoidable, but it was a humanitarian disaster that nearly destroyed American democracy. This paperback edition features a new Afterword by the author.
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