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Plain, Honest Men

1 rating: 4.0
A book by Richard Beeman
1 review about Plain, Honest Men

Do you know the Republic?

  • Jun 7, 2010
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"Plain, Honest Men" by Richard Beeman is the best book I've read since "Team of Rivals," but it's a more important read. We all learn about the making of the Constitution in schools, but we don't go in depth about the feelings that the delegates had on issues like states' power and usurpation of the federal government. The things that anti-federalists feared then have actually come to pass.

For example: The founding fathers worried that a centralized government might take people's income in a direct tax. They defined allowable taxation exactly; but today, just as they predicted, people's untaxable "income" is taxed, though the revenue service calls it "voluntary" and gets away with it. 

So many issues regarding the Republic come to light in a lively and interesting setting. All the idiosyncrasies and foibles of the delegates are described in a manner that relates to their actions. I'm sure it would take many books to cover everything that went on, but this is a great start.

Reading and researching some of the things I found in this book led me to "Cracking the Code" by Pete Hendrickson, a fascinating explanation of what the tax system is and what it should be according to the law and centuries of rulings by the Supreme Court — though it is a little disturbing to learn that I have paid in tens of thousands of dollars in income taxes that I never actually owed but was tricked by the revenue service into admitting to.

Lovers of American history must add this to their list. Well worth the time. Most reviewers — especially on Amazon — give this five of five stars. I left it at four because the author should have provided more detail in a few places. This would have made the book longer, but it could have been twice the length and still worth the time it takes to read it.


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June 07, 2010
Thanks, drifter! If you're interested in more "taxing" content, Read "Cracking the Code;" it'll make you cry! It did me.
June 07, 2010
Terrific review. You make some very cogent points regarding taxation. Definitely sounds like a book I would like to read.
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