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In response to the dire economic conditions in eighteenth-century Ireland, A Modest Proposal ironically exhorts the poor to provide their offspring as food to the rich. Skilfully applying a wealth of classical rhetorical techniques, Swift’s satirical tour de force takes a savage swipe at the selfishness of the ruling classes and the heartlessness of the various utilitarian solutions put forward by contemporary thinkers.
In addition to this seminal piece, this volume includes other humorous and polemical writings – which, taken together, provide an invaluable introduction to Swift as a master satirist and pamphleteer.
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