Monday, December 04, 2017

Income Tax at the Literary Review

This month's Literary Review of Canada features "Tax and the Canadian Psyche," a discussion of the political history of income tax between Elsbeth Heaman and Shirley Tillotson, recent authors of Tax, Order and Good Government and Give and Take, histories of taxation in Canada from 1867 to 1917 and from 1917 to the 1960s, respectively.

If you have not yet faced up to reading two long and challenging books on tax history, the LRC conversation  may be a useful cheater, as Heaman and Tillotson advance some of their provocative ideas about taxation and history.  Heaman seems to buy into the French-Canadian idea of George Brown as a francophobe bogeyman, but there are lots of lively takes here.

Update, December 6:  Elsbeth Heaman makes a fair point here:
I was a little surprised to read by your pen that “Heaman seems to buy into” the idea of George Brown as a francophobe bogeyman. I argue in excruciating detail over hundreds of pages that George Brown’s racialized tax revolt roiled Canadian politics for half a century. “Seems to” suggests that you think I’m producing a simulacra of an argument, not the real McCoy.
Also in the Review (subscribers only, this one) is a review of Janis Theissen's Snacks: A Canadian Food History There was a history of the donut a year or two ago, but hey, anything can be fodder for social history, and this one definitely does not look like empty calories.
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