• J. J. Sedelmaier

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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