Joseph J. Thorndike



Joseph J. Thorndike is director of the Tax History Project at Tax Analysts and a Visiting Scholar in History at the University of Virginia. He is a regular columnist for Tax Notes magazine and has also written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Bloomberg,, the Huffington Post, and various academic journals. Dr. Thorndike is a frequent radio and television guest, appearing on shows for National Public Radio, Fox Business, CBS News, and other broadcasters. He blogs at

Dr. Thorndike’s research explores the political economy of American taxation, with a special focus on the 20th century. He is the author (with Steven A. Bank  and  Kirk J. Stark) of War and Taxes and the editor (with Dennis J. Ventry, Jr.) of Tax Justice: The Ongoing Debate. His new book, Their Fair Share: Why Americans Tax the Rich, will be published by the Urban Institute Press in 2012. His current project, The Money Men, explores the economic stewardship of American political leaders from the Early Republic to the present day.

Dr. Thorndike holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. from Williams College.

Areas of Expertise

  • Tax law

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