Tag Archives: Modest Proposal

In Praise of Literary Biography

I share a discussion I had with John Stubbs, author of riveting biographies on Swift, Donne, and the cavalier poets.

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Imagining the Poor as Breeders

Donald Trump has been using words like “infest” and “breeding” to dehumanize people of color. Swift’s Modest Proposer does the same.

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The GOP and Trump’s Modest Proposals

The practice of separating immigrant children from their asylum-seeking parents is reminiscent of the Modest Proposer’s solution.

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Reflections on Internet Trolling

Internet trolling is not contributing to discourse but poisoning it.

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Jonathan Swift, Master of Fake News

Fake news, which played a role in the 2016 election, may have become particularly sophisticated, but satirists have been creating fake news since at least the days of Jonathan Swift. Take, for instance, Swift’s “The Last Speech and Dying Words of Ebenezer Elliston,” which supposedly lowered the crime rate but which, for that reason, is problematic.

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If Swift Had Known Donald Trump…

Jonathan Swift would have had a field day with Donald Trump. I suspect I’ll say this often in the upcoming years.

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A Modest Proposal for Shooting Students

Reacting against a proposal to allow guns on Idaho campuses, an Idaho professor has come up with a modest proposal of his own.

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Stewart Should Learn from Jonathan Swift

Jon Stewart may be one of our leading satirists, but satire comes up short in handling this country’s healthcare crisis.

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Swift and Food Stamp Cuts

What would Jonathan Swift say to GOP radicals who seek to cut food stamps.

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