Many Happy (Tax) Returns: A Marxist Doctrine

With all of us looking at the Fiscal Cliff on the horizon, who better to explain things than Marx . . .

. . . GROUCHO Marx.

About 15 years ago, I traded my signed copy of The Groucho Letters to the animation creator/director Tom Warburton for his 1942 edition of Groucho Marx’s second book, Many Happy Returns—illustrated by the famed Little King and New Yorker cartoonist Otto Soglow. It was the only book written by Groucho that I didn’t have, and I was eager to finalize my collection with this small, little-known edition. I’ve always enjoyed Julius “Groucho” Marx’s writing, and considering his limited academic background it’s that much more amazing how well-done his essays and articles are. No doubt his years spent working and hanging out with the likes of George S. Kaufman and S. J. Perelman influenced his storytelling style. By the way, if you enjoy humor writing and haven’t read The Groucho Letters, you’ve cheated yourself. Groucho said that one of his proudest accomplishments was the fact that this compilation of personal and business correspondence was in the permanent collection of the Library Of Congress.

Anyway, back to Many Happy Returns! I’ve scanned some selections from the book below for your pleasure. I hope this will whet your appetite for more of Groucho’s writings . . .

The red clothbound book sans its jacket

Front and back covers of the dust jacket

Dust jacket flaps

 

Books by Groucho Marx: “Beds” (1930), “Many Happy Returns” (1942), “Groucho and Me” (1959), “Memoirs of a Mangy Lover” (1963), “The Groucho Letters” (1967), and “The Secret Word Is Groucho”- with Hector Arce (1976)

 

And as an added bonus, here’s a behind the scenes look at the Groucho-chaired Freedonian Budget meeting from Duck Soup (1933): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMLpgLcK0Ao

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Pingback: Dept of Literature: (Groucho) Marx on Fiscal Cliffs -

  2. How sad that Soglow is now forgotten. Otto had a long running comic strip in the Sunday comics called “The Little King” which was a weekly sight gag drawn up in his beautiful, clean style. Wonderful stuff. Luckily Groucho lives on! My 16-year old grandson and his friends recently discovered the Marx Bros. on Turner Classic Movies Channel and now go around doing routines from the films. Long live Groucho and his clan.