Book Review: Many Unhappy Returns: One Man’s Question to Turn Around the Most Unpopular Organization in America

Eric A. Lustic

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At first blush, Charles Rossotti’s memoir of his term as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) (1997-2002) seems an odd subject for a law review article. The book is marketed as a business book and thus finds itself among other current popular press business titles such as Winning, y Jack Welch, former Chief Executive Officer of General Electric. Indeed, that a former IRS Commissioner’s memoir is a business title speaks volumes about the potential significance of Rossotti’s tenure. Rossotti was the first non-lawyer to  head the IRS since the Eisenhower administration. Moreover, he was the first non-tax professional to serve as Commissioner since before even that historical landmark. In addition, Rossotti served during a particularly tumultuous time for the IRS with the highly inflammatory congressional hearings of 1997 and 1998. Finally, Rossotti was the first Commissioner to have served under the provisions of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.
40 New Eng. L. Rev. 563

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