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A MODEST PROPOSAL (non illustrated) [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Swift
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"A Modest Proposal" is an essay that uses satire to make its point. A satire is a literary work that attacks or pokes fun at vices, abuses, stupidity, and/or any other fault or imperfection. Satire may make the reader laugh at, or feel disgust for, the person or thing satirized. Impishly or sardonically, it criticizes someone or something, using wit and clever wording—and sometimes makes outrageous assertions or claims. The main purpose of a satire is to spur readers to remedy the problem under discussion. The main weapon of the satirist is verbal irony, a figure of speech in which words are used to ridicule a person or thing by conveying a meaning that is the opposite of what the words say.
The essay was originally printed in the form of a pamphlet. At the time of its publication, 1729, a pamphlet was a short work that took a stand on a political, religious, or social issue—or any other issue of public interest. A typical pamphlet had no binding, although it sometimes had a paper cover. Writers of pamphlets, called pamphleteers, played a significant role in inflaming or resolving many of the great controversies in Europe in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, as well as in the political debate leading up to the American Revolution.

Editorial Reviews


From the Publisher

Designed for school districts, educators, and students seeking to maximize performance on standardized tests, Webster’s paperbacks take advantage of the fact that classics are frequently assigned readings in English courses. By using a running thesaurus at the bottom of each page, this edition of A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift was edited for students who are actively building their vocabularies in anticipation of taking PSAT®, SAT®, AP® (Advanced Placement®), GRE®, LSAT®, GMAT® or similar examinations.

PSAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE®, AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT® is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT® is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 151 KB
  • Print Length: 28 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EHZTD8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,669 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharp Political Satire December 30, 2009
By Bagels
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short and to the point, this is political satire at its best. While some background of Irish history is helpful, what I most like about Mr. Swift's arguments is that they can apply to any society where the group in power frets over what to do with the poor. I was in the middle of a book on the history of the Civil Rights movement in the American South when I read this, and what struck me was how Swift's satire lined up with the events a continent and centuries away from the original subject.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English Satire at it's Finest May 29, 2008
So I have not bought this copy, but I have a few different copies of A Modest Proposal and it is amazing.
Jonathan Swift is really the father of english satire in literature and, along with Gulliver's Travels, this is his magnum opus.
The basic idea is a proposal for economic reform by the export and eating of babies. Now the idea is rather gruesome, but Swift is not meant to be taken literally. The idea was so show how ridiculous people were being, fighting over religion and economics, by showing an idea that, truly could have worked for the time and place if people were okay with child murder. This is nothing short of one of the most hilarious arguments into the problems with governments and economic reform that was ever written.
I highly recommend this short piece for both humor, literature, and a look into the human social mind.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master of Invective April 17, 2010
When Jonathan Swift published "A Modest Proposal" in October of 1789, he had determined to alleviate what he saw as the unnecessary plight of the starving poor of Ireland. For centuries the Irish had lived under the often harsh thumb of England which placed very many hardships on them. The English Parliament tended to view the Irish as a conquered people who existed only for the benefit of the mother country. Restrictive financial laws guaranteed that most of the revenue produced in Ireland would find its way into the coffers of the English treasury. Restrictive trade laws ensured that goods manufactured in one part of Ireland could not be transported and sold to another. And most egregious of all was the prevailing tendency of wealthy English landowners to hire landlords to run estates, villages, and apartments of all squalid sorts in Ireland while all the while charging exorbitant rents to those who could ill afford those rents. It is against the totality of what Swift saw as a massive wave of a lack of basic human care and sympathy for the downtrodden Irish that convinced him to write a tract that he hoped would draw attention to the inhuman conditions under which the Irish had to live. To accomplish this goal, Swift chose to write in a style with which he had a long familiarity--a mixing of bitter satire with biting irony. In essence, "A Modest Proposal" is an extended use of this mixture to present what would have otherwise been seen as an appalling use of cannibalism under the guise of a misplaced socially acceptable benevolence.

The structure of the essay is more than slightly reminiscent of the tracts that were then current. Authors of such tracts were fond of critiquing what they saw as the sociological issues of the day.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Satire May 2, 2012
By Brandon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Johnathan Swift crafts a brilliant satire about serious issues of his day such as the widening wealth gap, growing poverty, lack of altruistic empathy, which are even more relevant today than they were in the author's time. A must read for the modern person.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning for Kindle shoppers March 20, 2012
Before you consider purchasing the Kindle version of this title, check the preview. It appears to me to be nothing more than a typewritten copy of the title essay. It is not the Penguin edition at all. It does not, for example, include the satire, Meditation on a Broomstick, for example. Caveat emptor.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT! January 18, 2011
By Jenn
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love this book! It's one of my favorites! However, if you're not used to the vocabulary in it, or your understanding of the turmoil that was going on in this period of history is weak, you might not get the full effect or humor. It's still a worth-while read. Go for it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The satire primer for all writers September 6, 2012
By Cfount
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Classic, perfect and short. My father gave me this book when I was 12 and it warped my writing forever, much to my delight and pleasure. Besides all that, it's a great read.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The solution of too-many green eyed children. Although the true irony lies in Britain's use of the Irish as one of several slave classes for hundreds of years. They should have realized we would out breed them at some point.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Heat up the oven.
Classic Swift. Has held up incredibly well.
Published 1 month ago by felix
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by Nazzir
5.0 out of 5 stars Swift pulled a swifty with this one.
Swift's facetious proposal must be read at least twice to catch all the nuances that he loaded this piece with. One of the best essays ever written.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 months ago by David G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Humor at Its Best
I received a photocopy of this work in English Literature; this bound copy is far better. I laughed again as I read it.
Published 19 months ago by D. Dickey
5.0 out of 5 stars Om nom nom nom babies!
fascinating proposal for the british economy to include the sale and consumption of babies and infants. if for nothing else read it for the lulz
Published on April 15, 2013 by Andrew
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Intriguing. Some of the references were completely lost due to the time difference, but the overall ideas it presents were very interesting. Read more
Published on March 19, 2013 by BenDickin
5.0 out of 5 stars ITS A COOKBOOK
i finally translated the title from ancient english using a universal translator... i think you guys should know before you just buy this book
Published on January 18, 2013 by Eric Drewes
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof that satire is not new
I do believe that if Jonathan Swift were alive today, he would be writing for The Onion. Which, coming from me, is highest praise.
Published on August 26, 2012 by Meaghan
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