Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Modest Proposal - In Our Time review

Before the podcast will be taken out of the feed, here is a quick recommendation for the latest In Our Time about Jonathan Swifts 'A modest Proposal'. The discussion involves the history of Ireland, Swifts relation with it, his success with Gulliver's Travels and eventually on the effect of his 'A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to The Public' on the phenomenon of pamphleteering.

A thought that stuck with me was the fact that Swift used the pamphlet for humor. Whereas the pamphlet would, as you expect, say what the writer wants to say in an immediate way, Swift's pamphlet makes an exaggeration and while obviously saying something the author doesn't mean (arguing for cannibalism), it makes a point and has the political effect any old-fashioned pamphlet would hope to have.

More In Our Time:
History of history,
Darwin special,
The Consolation of Philosophy,
The Great Fire,

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