Slowing down global warming is one of the most critical problems facing the world’s policymakers today. One favored solution is to regulate carbon consumption through taxation, including the taxation of gasoline. Yet gasoline tax levels are much lower in the United States than elsewhere. Why is this so, and what does it tell us about the prospects for taxing carbon here? A Comparative History of Motor Fuels Taxation, 1909–2009: Why Gasoline Is Cheap and Petrol Is Dear examines these questions by tracing the evolution of gasoline tax policies in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand since the early twentieth century. In the process, it highlights the crucial role played by fiscal crises.