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A Modest Proposal

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  30,712 Ratings  ·  682 Reviews
This edition is written in English. However, there is a running
Korean thesaurus at the bottom of each page for the more difficult
English words highlighted in the text.
Paperback, Webster's Korean Thesaurus Edition, 26 pages
Published 2006 by ICON Group International, Inc. (first published 1729)
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Bookworm Sean
This made me laugh so much. It’s just so brilliantly funny. Swift adopts a very serious tone, and an authoritative voice, that almost sounds real. He delivers his proposal in such a hilariously cold way that embodies a dejected government official. I could imagine him writing this whilst struggling to keep a straight face as he mocks the English law makers.

The rich looked down upon the poor and saw them as a deplorable sub species of human, which is rather ironic because without poverty there w
...more
Brian
Oct 25, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last night my daughter asked me to watch what passes for comedy to pre-teens on Nickelodeon; a show low on laughs but high on laugh track. It's Halloween week and of course the thematic drum of cheap scares and slutty costumes (those of you dads that have 11 year old girls know what it is like to take a knee at the end of the show to have a side-bar chat about this topic alone) plays large when midway through the episode a six year old girl dressed like a failing barrister circa 1735 comes firin ...more
Elyse
Mar 21, 2016 Elyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One book leads to another....
After listening to the audiobook "Food: A Love Story", by Jim Gaffigan...a hilarious walking companion...
I quoted a Bizzarre Line from Jim..."Maybe All Americans should just eat starving people from other nations"....
my mind went elsewhere with that line ( the complete opposite with Jim... but laughed anyway)....

So....getting a little more serious --
During the comments *Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)*, asked me if I had read/listened to Jonathan Swift's "A Modest
...more
Scribble Orca
Mar 06, 2015 Scribble Orca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Scribble by: voN heRrn Gaddis
Shelves: defies-a-shelf
Goodreaders, my Friends, “…who peruse this [Review], Be not offended, whilst on it you [chew]: Denude yourselves of all depraved affection, For it contains no badness, nor infection: 'Tis true that it brings forth to you no birth Of any value, but in point of mirth; Thinking therefore how sorrow might your mind Consume, I could no [more] apt subject find; One [plume] of joy surmounts of grief a [duration]; Because to laugh is proper to the [rational person].”–Rabelais
Jonathan Ashleigh
This is obviously an incredible satire, which hopes to give some satisfaction to the rich. I recently reread it after reading The Sorrows of Young Mike. In John Zelazny's parody, the main character parodies Jonathan Swift's modest proposal. It is a parody within a parody and the modern twist is displayed well.
Dylan Williams
FIRST THING IVE READ IN MONTHS AND IT FEELS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD
Florencia
Jan 05, 2016 Florencia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny-and-ish
This review contains sensitive material that may be upsetting to some friends.

(view spoiler)
...more
Lynne King
I came across this essay via Scribble's review and read it in no time. I thought it would be light reading and it turned out to be something completely different. Satire at its best from Mr Swift.

I read this in the dentist's waiting room this morning and it certainly waylaid my normal fear of going there.

The author has come up with a "modest" (nothing modest here) proposal to aid the Irish economy, stop the begging, give mothers (the breeders) the opportunity to get an income by selling their l
...more
Brad
there is no better way to kick off a semester of literature than a modest proposal. one smart ass student always tries to derail the conversation with an early declaration of the proposal’s satire, but no one listens, and within moments i have a class of fifty - sixty students angry, frustrated, and sometimes rabid as i take swift’s ironic side and ask the students, with all the seriousness i can muster (which is quite a bit), if we shouldn’t give it a try? i follow that up with “why not?” after ...more
Brad
Nov 19, 2015 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I continue to think that this supremely logical and inevitably practical work will become a part of American legislation any day now. You know, right after the FEMA camps have a permanent place in the common zeitgeist. Anyone want a potato?

Update 11/19/15:

It occurs to me that someone ought to write a cookbook to expound upon this most excellent suggestion. Any takers? Julia Childs? Hannibal Lector? Rush Limbaugh?

So many excellent suggestions, I know, I know.
Anthony Vacca
Jun 09, 2014 Anthony Vacca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for roasted young “long pig” that is guaranteed to save a few bucks come the next last-minute dinner with friends or family:

What You Will Need
Butcher knife
Olive oil or butter
Seasonings (I have a soft spot for a pinch of Ambergris, a touch of Wattleseed, and a dash of Spanish Fly)
Roasting pan

Step 1
Trim away the end of the neck, and the end of each leg from the "knee" joint downwards. This is usually only necessary with wild-caught “long pig” because, if farmed, than
...more
Duane
This essay is what's known in English writing as "straight-faced" satire. Well, it's just a little too straight-faced for me. Swift's extended ironic rambling suggest's using Irish children as a food source to solve the problem of the down-trodden masses. It eliminates 100 thousand children from extended suffering, provides an income source for their poor parents, and provides table fare for the upper society. Swift was extremely aggravated with the Irish political system, the English class syst ...more
Liz BooksandStuff
May 03, 2016 Liz BooksandStuff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites

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True Satire.



Update February 2016
The best satirical work I think I have ever read. It is basically about how to end hunger by eating children during the eighteenth century Ireland. His main point is that there are too many people in Ireland, particularly children whose parents cannot take care of them, and therefore do not contributeanything towards the community, hence :"a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roas
...more
Matt
Jun 18, 2015 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


This proposal made by J. Swift for combating poverty and overpopulation is as simple as it is ingenious.

But that's the problem with simple and ingenious ideas: There must be someone to find them. Swift was a far-sighted visionary. Although expressed at the end of the 18th century the solutions depicted in his text are still relevant to modern society. I am sure some grave problems of today would be fairly easy to solve. With only some slight modifications to Swift's proposal hunger and poverty
...more
James
Apr 08, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, reread
This little gem of a satire (collected together in this volume with a few less significant works) has its roots in antiquity. Swift was on William Temple's side in the famous clash between the ancients and the moderns, with both throwing in their stakes on the side of the ancients. And rightly so, perhaps. Certainly the influence can be seen in Swift's own works, which though they have a definite modern sensibility (his weird penchant for writing about all things arse-related notwithstanding) ar ...more
booklady
Mar 29, 2009 booklady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone over the age of 14
It's been a long time since I first read this satirical masterpiece by Swift, which reads like its title and is anything but, "A Modest Proposal". In it, the author is 'proposing' a solution to the serious problems of overpopulation, unemployment, and food shortages, not to mention providing the social and moral benefits of kinder husbands and better parents. Mr. Swift has all the economic angles figured out and presents a very convincing argument, so straightforward and valid my daughter's high ...more
Christopher
Jan 13, 2014 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can you believe this guy? I realize that this was, like, a long time ago and things were different back then. Like, less civilized and they didn't value life like we do today and stuff. But omg, seriously! For all intensive purposes, this guy Swift was crazy. After I read this I literally cut my own head off.

So apparently in the eighteenth century (and by the way, isn't it so stupid that it's called the eighteenth century when it was the 1700s? that makes like no sense at all), there was a lot o
...more
Bonnie
Nov 14, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bonnie by: 1001 Books to Read Before You Die
Shelves: funny-ha-ha, 1001, 2011
‘A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick’ otherwise known as simply 'A Modest Proposal' is anything but modest.

'I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most deliciou
...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
This is obviously an incredible satire, which hopes to give some satisfaction to the rich. I recently reread it after reading The Sorrows of Young Mike. In John Zelazny's parody, the main character parodies Jonathan Swift's modest proposal. It is a parody within a parody and the modern twist is displayed well.
Pink
May 25, 2016 Pink rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 18th-century
Haha, I didn't know what the proposal would be! How very biting! I'm glad I wasn't spoiled before reading this. I think I'd have liked Jonathan Swift.
Gloria Mundi
Jun 16, 2012 Gloria Mundi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Merkel, Hollande, Draghi, Lagarde, anyone looking for a practical solution to a financial crisis
Recommended to Gloria by: 1001 books list
It is clear to me now what the modern European politicians are doing wrong. They are, obviously, not reading their classics.

Europe is in the midst of a dire financial crisis with all sorts of complicated schemes being proposed to resolve the situation. And here we have a practical and sensible solution that nobody appears to have considered, despite the fact that it has been around since 1729!

If you don't have enough money to feed your kids, EAT THEM!

What could be simpler?

Now, the author mentio
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

Written in 1729, three years after the publication of Gulliver's Travels, at the time when Ireland was reeling from famine with an estimated 35,000 wandering beggars in the country.

Drought and failing crops had forced entire families to quit their farms and took the roads begging for food. Landowners, of English ancestry, ignored their sufferings and opted to live abroad to evade payment of taxes and duties. The sub-title of this story reads:


"For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland
...more
Michelle Curie
This Little Black Classic holds four essays and one poem written by Jonathan Swift, an Irish satirist from the 17th century. The most famous is probably A Modest Proposal, in which he writes about how to solve a famine in Ireland. Let me tell you: it's hilarious.



I'm a bit wary about political satire from Early Modern Britain, as I fear that I might not have enough historical knowledge to understand the context, but this was delightful. Swift's sense of humor is dry to the point where you have t
...more
Anne Zappa
Sep 18, 2014 Anne Zappa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The hospital's obstetrician department seemed to look like the inside of a stock exchange building. There was constant tumult of men bidding for all the babies that were to bee born that day. If a buyer was lucky, a lot of triplets were born on the day of his bid. The hospitals were provided with high security. These sites had become hot spots for suicide bombings. The terrorists had been manipulating people, using the name of Islam to besmirching the innocuous act of cannibalism. These men were ...more
Kogiopsis
Having read this several times- it's the perennial English teacher favorite to demonstrate satire- I have to say that I enjoy it on several levels. First, the writing is fairly lucid and easy for a modern reader to comprehend. Second, the dark humor amuses me. Third, it gave rise to one of my favorite English class essays- a satire in the style of Mr. Swift, in which I argued for the adoption of Twilight as high school literature curriculum. What fun that was to write! The fourth mark in the Mod ...more
hanna
Jul 18, 2016 hanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 2016, humor, fiction
He sounded so serious in his proposal that I almost believed he was a nutjob for a split second. Brilliant satire though, I caught myself feigning a posh british accent in my head with this like I do with many of Austen's novels, I think it's the vocab that does it does it for me (even though I realize he was writing for the citizens of Ireland). How can you not say something like "Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, 'till he hath atleast some glimpse of h ...more
C.B. Cook
Apr 19, 2016 C.B. Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, short
Both funny and disgusting, but it got its point across.
David
Oct 03, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people raising tasty, tasty babies
I was familiar with Jonathan Swift's famous work of satire but had never actually read the whole thing. But it is on the Books 1001 list, so I decided to read it, since it's online everywhere and it's only five pages.

The first page of Swift's 1729 essay describes the problem: the ever-increasing number of destitute Irish, the economic hardships imposed on the nation, and the numerous inadequate and ineffective schemes that had been attempted to address it.

There is no alteration in Swift's very s
...more
Lit Bug
A very short political tract by Swift in a lashing, satirical vein, the complete title of this tract is 'A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public'.

Published in 1729, an era when the British and the Irish were sworn enemies and when Ireland was reeling under a severe drought, Swift wrote this as an attempt to criticize heavily the British authorities who did nothing to stav
...more
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1831
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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“I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust.” 2 likes
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