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A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works (Dover Thrift Editions)
ISBN 0486287599 / 9780486287591 / 0-486-28759-9
Publisher Dover Publications
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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 [via]