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Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod’s book is wonderful and should be read by any student of tax. It is both entertaining and instructive. And to this historian, it is remarkable how a volume written by two prominent public finance economists can successfully accomplish the goals of historical study first enunciated by its founders, Herodotus and Thucydides. Herodotus believed that the study of history was primarily about learning from what was different about the past and other cultures to better understand our own, while Thucydides thought that it was about understanding how people react similarly to similar situations in order to predict their future behavior.


Reprinted with the permission of Tax Analysts.

Working paper version available from

Available for download on Saturday, March 22, 2031