Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy by Shirley TillotsonGive and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy by Shirley Tillotson

Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian Democracy

byShirley Tillotson

Hardcover | November 15, 2017

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Can a book about tax history be a page-turner? You wouldn’t think so. But Give and Take is full of surprises. A Canadian millionaire who embraced the new federal income tax in 1917. A socialist hero, J.S. Woodsworth, who deplored the burden of big government. Most surprising of all, Give and Take reveals that taxes deliver something more than armies and schools. They build democracy.

Tillotson launches her story with the 1917 war income tax, takes us through the tumultuous tax fights of the interwar years, proceeds to the remaking of income taxation in the 1940s and onwards, and finishes by offering a fresh angle on the fierce conflicts surrounding tax reform in the 1960s.

Taxes show us the power of the state, and Canadians often resisted that power, disproving the myth that we have all been good loyalists. But Give and Take is neither a simple tale of tax rebels nor a tirade against the taxman. Canadians also made real contributions to democracy when they taxed wisely and paid willingly.

When citizens confront taxation, it is a sign of a vigorously democratic political life. Our unruly tax history should be better known, and perhaps even celebrated.

Shirley Tillotson has taken a leading role in the writing of Canada’s new political history. Through her many books and articles, she has shown how electoral politics and social politics intersect and influence each other. Her first book, The Public at Play: Gender and the Politics of Recreation in Post-War Ontario, was recognized for ...
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Title:Give and Take: The Citizen-Taxpayer and the Rise of Canadian DemocracyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:November 15, 2017Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774836725

ISBN - 13:9780774836722

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Table of Contents

1 Talking Tax

2 We, the Taxpayers

3 Our Conservative Tax Structure

4 Resistance in the Interwar Years

5 Taxation at the Edges of Citizenship

6 Honour, Confidence, and Federalism during the Depression

7 Warfare, Welfare, and the Mass Income Tax Payer

8 New Publics and the Tax Man in the 1950s

9 Poverty, Bureaucracy, and Taxes

10 Reform, Populism, and the Presence of the Past in the 1960s

11 Self-Interest, Community, and the Evolution of the Citizen-Taxpayer

Appendix: Tables

Notes; Bibliography; Index

Editorial Reviews

A book about tax history that’s a real page-turner? Give and Take is full of surprises. A Canadian millionaire who embraced the new federal income tax in 1917. A socialist hero who deplored the burden of big government. Most surprising, twentieth-century taxes have made us richer, in political engagement and more. Taxes make the power of the state obvious, and Canadians often resisted that power. But this is not simply a tale of tax rebels. Tillotson argues that Canadians also made real contributions to democracy when they taxed wisely and paid willingly.Shirley Tillotson’s brilliant book rescues the history of taxation from the grip of technical, abstract detail and gives it a human face. Here is cultural and social history at its best, written in an engaging style. She shows how tax payers and collectors held conversations over whether to comply or resist and how they debated the nature of democracy and citizenship. This book is a major contribution to the history of Canada with wider implications for understanding other twentieth-century societies. - Martin Daunton, professor emeritus of economic history, Cambridge University