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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "Edmund Wilson, Tax Dodger" (1963) Summary & Analysis

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Vidal reviews and endorses literary critic Edmund Wilson's "extraordinary polemic" against the American income tax and its enforcers, The Cold War and the Income Tax. Busy with his various writing and editing projects, four marriages and faltering royalties, Wilson ran afoul of the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $20,000 which grew with interest and fines to $60,000, and learned to his surprise that any and all assets could be seized and liquidated.

Wilson's Kafkaesque encounter with the IRS is characterized by having one agent assigned to read all of his works in an attempt to discern whether his not paying taxes "was part of a sinister design to subvert a great nation," Vidal says. The legitimate investigation into his affairs was only aggravated by "the unrelenting impertinence of the investigators...

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This section contains 382 words
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