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The Green Bag

Congressional legislation. These in crease the ambiguity which already existed in many parts of the statute. Treasury regulations evolved in haste since the passage of the Act have clari fied some of the confusion, but appar ently this has been accomplished by exceeding the powers conferred on the Department under the Act. In the uncertainty as to the exact effect of the Act books on this subject will be much sought by lawyers. Considering the promptness with which this book was issued after the passage of the statute it is remarkably good. The author was in Washington during the debates on the Act and had much material in readiness based on decisions under the English Income Tax and those rendered under our earlier statutes as well as under the few state statutes. These cases will be the first beacons to guide through the maze of conundrums which the application of the statute to the actual conditions will produce. There are a few parts of the Act that the book hardly treats at all, such as the paragraph imposing the additional tax on larger incomes, but as far as it goes the book is intelligent and accurate. It contains a discussion of the constitutionality of income tax laws, a discussion of many questions that will arise in the interpretation of the Act, and an appendix containing the income taxes imposed not only by the present Act but by the preceding federal and state statutes, the decisions under which are cited in the body of the book. S. R. W.




The Law of Decedents' Estates, including wills, An abridgment for the use of law students of J. G. Woerner's great treatise for practitioners on The American Law of Administration. Edited by Wil

liam F. Woerner and F. A. Wislizenus. instructor* in the law department of St. Louis and Washington Universities. Little, Brown & Co., Boston. Pp. xxxvi, 496 and index 29. ($4 tut.) "DROBATE law is not an important subject in the curriculum of our law schools. Often, when it is taught, only a little time is allotted to it in the work of the final year. Frequently it is an elective and not a prescribed study. When probate law is taught at all, the course given is usually one on wills and administration; a survey of the general topic of decedents' estates is usually not attempted. On the subject of wills we have Costigan's Selection of Cases and Chaplin's Principles of the Law of Wills with Selected Cases, both of them good books for instruction. Schouler on Wills is an extended standard treatise par ticularly suited to the practitioner, con taining much matter unnecessary in a short law school course. The 'law of decedents' estates is so largely statutory, and deals so largely with formal matters which are mere excrescences on the surface of substan tive law, that it does not seem worthy to be given a place of such prominence in the prescribed curriculum as to ex clude subjects more important to the training of the lawyer. If, however, it is to be taught, the branch of it deal ing with wills seems the most profitable to take up, owing to the existence of a body of legal doctrine in this field which plays an active part in the juris prudence of today and may serve a highly instructive purpose. The editors of the book before us state that in lecturing upon the subject of wills and administration in Wash ington and St. Louis Universities they found no suitable text-book covering this field. What they have done is not to make a book supplying this need of a text on wills and administration, but to prepare a text the scheme of which