The Writing Life

An Introduction
It all began innocently. I wrote a few articles in the late 1960s and early 1970s that were published (some while in law school) but writing a book was not at the fore of my conscious mind. I graduated from The George Washington University National Law Center with a masters degree in taxation, in 1972. The law school dean asked me, along with John Holt Myers, to teach the course in tax-exempt organizations. (Jack and I were in the same law firm; he was a partner and I an associate.) We agreed; the first course was set for the spring of 1973.

Thereafter, I discovered that there was not a book for this course. I began assembling a collection of photocopies of principal Internal Revenue Code provisions, Treasury regulations, court cases, and IRS rulings. This collection of materials was initially used in the course.

During 1973-1974, this collection of materials was expanded. The revised collection was used for the course in the spring of 1974.

In 1974, I conceived the idea that this collection should be converted to a book. I contacted dozens of publishers (including John Wiley & Sons) and was overwhelmingly and consistently rejected. I collected a two-inch file of rejection letters, which, to my regret, I discarded (it would be amusing to read them today). The message was uniform: there is no market for this type of book.

I wrote The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations anyway, starting in the summer of 1974 and writing into early 1975.

In the ensuing years, I wrote many articles, chapters in books of others, and prefaces for books. This kind of thing has diminished (indeed, nearly ceased), however, because of the amount of time devoted to my books and newsletter.