"FINANCIER OF THE UNIVERSE": FIRST EDITION OF ANDREW MELLON'S TAXATION: THE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS, 1924, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
MELLON, Andrew W. Taxation: The People's Business. New York: Macmillan, 1924. Octavo, original maroon cloth, original dust jacket. $2250.
First edition, first printing, of the first and only book by Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury to three presidents, an exceptional copy in the original dust jacket.
Appointed Secretary of the Treasury in 1921, Mellon "was the most powerful figure in three successive presidential cabinets" (ANB). Under Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, he was "the resident 'financier of the universe'… and in 1924 when he wrote Taxation, he had full presidential support. The press dubbed his proposal the 'Mellon Plan'" (Folsom, Myth of the Robber Barons, 111). Taxation, his only book, was published in April 1924. It features a number of his writings, "drawn together by David Finley… its proposals were essentially those the secretary had sent to Congress the previous autumn. Mellon insisted the Treasury should be run 'on business principles,' and that federal taxation should be 'the least burden to the people' while yielding 'the most revenue to the government'" (Cannadine, Mellon, xii). First printing: with no mention of additional printings. Tiny bookseller stamp to rear dust jacket flap.
Book fine; light edge-wear, slight soiling, small closed tear to rear panel of extremely good unrestored dust jacket.