Book #35

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

Swift's ferocious, landmark eighteenth-century political satire on how to solve a famine in Ireland.

This is a collection of Swift's political works, with the titular essay being the most prominent and satirical commentary of all. I struggled to connect with any of the others, and so will mention only A Modest Proposal below.

Swift describes the desolation and poverty of his own eighteenth-century Ireland, and clearly places the blame on to the English. He describes the unhelpful policies bestowed upon the country, and suggests one of his own in the most ridiculous and overblown manner. The satirical sting to the English is wildly direct, and boldly questions the morals of wealth.

The reader will quickly realise many of the points Swift raises in these essays are still prevalent today. I wonder if our current government have already discussed his economically-pleasing proposal.

Savage and shameless, this is an enjoyable political commentary.