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The Battle of the Books and Other Short Pieces

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Published May 29th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published 1704)
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Rick Davis
Aug 03, 2011 Rick Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Battle of the Books and other Short Pieces introduced me to Jonathan Swift in a whole new way. I have to admit that I’ve never been a big fan of Gulliver’s Travels. It’s a fun sort of book with some clever satire, but it’s always really fallen flat with me. I just assumed that it is the best thing Swift ever wrote, as it is the one piece by him required for almost every school. This collection of his shorter writings showed me I was wrong.

The book opens with a short story called “The Battle
Swift's satire, written in 1697, describes the battle between ancient and modern books. At that time, "ancient" referred to the Greek classics and “modern” referred to books written in the 17th century. It was a rebuttal to authors who were writing that modern knowledge had surpassed the knowledge that had been available in earlier books. Swift argued that the essential ideas taught by Aristotle and others were just as valid and important as ever.

I’m a fan of 19th century classics (not Swift’s d
Ahmed el-Masri
Mar 26, 2014 Ahmed el-Masri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outwardly, this essay seemed to be an unreadable text. However, when I began to comprehend the essence of the story and its magnitude, I perceived that it was much easier than one can conceive. Indeed, it has paved the way for me to get acknowledged with a number of new words and their usage. It was also that it has got me acquainted with the Greek Mythology and some gods of this great nation. Overall, since it is known that theories are meaningless without experimentation, and fiction is the li ...more
Suhasini Srihari
"The Battle of the Books" by Jonathan Swift was an amazing read! There is a battle that actually happens between the Ancients and the Moderns (NB: In Swift's time, some scholars favoured the Ancients, the old and the classic; while some favoured the Moderns, the new and innovative.) in the King's library. However, the MS remains unfinished, so, we do not really get to know who wins the battle. The satire is prolific and Swift has effectively portrayed how "wit without knowledge" serves no purpos ...more
Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
Gutenberg version here.

First use in print of phrase "sweetness and light."
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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 al ...more
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“Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.” 35 likes
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