'A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works'
By Jonathan Swift (Author)
Treasury of five shorter works by the author of Gulliver's Travels offers ample evidence of the great satirist's inspired lampoonery. Title piece plus The Battle of the Books, A Meditation Upon a Broom-Stick, A Discourse Concerning the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit and The Abolishing of Christianity in England.
If you read this in high school (as many of us did), it may have shocked you--not bad for a tract written in 1729. It wouldn't be fair to those of you who haven't come across A Modest Proposal to reveal the particulars of the piece; suffice it to say that Saturday Night Live has nothing on Jonathan Swift! Swift's discussion of what Great Britain should do for his native impoverished Ireland is a model of political satire, absolutely consistent in tone and even now still sparkling in its clarity. The balance between, on the one hand, the utter seriousness of the matter in question and, on the other, the outrageousness of the remedy suggested is exquisite. A Modest Proposal is short and comes bound in this edition with several of Swift's other writings. This volume is an excellent introduction to the author of Gulliver's Travels (itself a masterwork) and to one of the world's premier satirical minds. What are you waiting for? --Michael Gerber
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet, famous for works like Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. Swift published all of his works under pseudonyms — such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M.B. Drapier — or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire; the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.
Note: 'The Great Books of the Western World' recommends 'A Modest Proposal'