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Download A Modest Proposal and Other Essays Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample A Modest Proposal and Other Essays (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Jonathan Swift
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (16,543 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Swift Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Recorded Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 1999 ISBN:
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In A Modest Proposal, first published in 1729, Jonathan Swift heaps scorn on then-current political theory and reveals the appalling suffering taking place in Ireland - not through direct reporting, but through mock suggestions on what to do with the poor; they should sell their children for food. The chief end I propose to myself in all my labors is to vex the world rather than divert it, wrote Jonathan Swift in a letter to his friend Alexander Pope. Other vexing works collected here are Directions to Servants, The Art of Political Lying, A Digression Concerning the Critics, and Sweetness and Light. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lily | 2/12/2014

    " This was definitely weird. If you hadn't known what it was about it would be have been REALLY weird! Jonathan Swift writes as a persona. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula Valenca | 2/10/2014

    " Particularly interesting to read in today's political and economical climate. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Filipa | 2/3/2014

    " I only read it because of Boxall's list of the 1001 books you must read before you die. A wonderful discovery though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/29/2014

    " I've got to say, it came as a great relief to me when I realized Swift was just kidding... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/25/2014

    " A "delicious" read. If Juvenal is Jonathan Swift's great-grandfather, then Stephen Colbert is Swift's great-grandson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karyn | 1/21/2014

    " Reason, horror, reason, horror. Like Dickens with the volume turned up. The next time I am asked which historical personage I would like to meet...I will name Swift. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fred | 1/17/2014

    " One of the more brilliant pieces of political satire/political commentary ever written. For all of you who don't know and decide to rate it low please understand that it was never intended to be taken a face value. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 1/7/2014

    " Being post-Malthus makes this pre-Malthus commentary on population and resource management much more fun to read than Malthus himself. And nearly three centuries later, the central questions implied remain unanswered, unless, I suppose, you take this modest proposal, on face value. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vanessa Eccles | 12/2/2013

    " Very entertaining. It just makes you wonder what on earth was going on in his head when he wrote this. Very taboo for his time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonic | 11/22/2013

    " Brilliant, and by that I mean Hilarious, and Twisted! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lady Knight | 11/8/2013

    " Classic satire. Intelligent humour at its finest! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yuki0luv | 11/6/2013

    " "I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine years old, and my wife past childbearing." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danny | 10/20/2013

    " A great satirical essay that manages to draw the reader in before realizing the absurdity.. one of the best of the genre - that I've read, anyway. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 10/13/2013

    " This is my third reading, and not the last. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 E | 9/17/2013

    " Gotta love the snark of an Irishman. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam Funderburk | 3/19/2013

    " odd, disturbing, and fantastic!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 3/7/2013

    " Eating babies? Seriously? As frightening as it may sound, this was definitely hilarious! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ariel | 9/4/2012

    " Iconic. The best use of Swift is to read it to people who don't understand that it's meant in satire. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Victoria | 8/7/2012

    " I get it. Mr. Swift is pissed off at the British on how they're not DOING anything to help the starving Irishmen...great work, yey...his sense of humor still sucks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gwen | 7/24/2012

    " I love this piece. Any one writing satire should read this before the write out the first word. Not only is this unbelievably over the top, but it also manages to make a very clear social commentary. A must read. No excuses. It's short and amazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Xinyi Doris Li | 2/16/2012

    " Swift's sense of humor? Or all of the British's sense of humor? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Leachman | 11/16/2011

    " Never fails to jab students "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter Heinrich | 9/13/2011

    " Reread this and was instantly transported back to high school English. Still delivers that icky feeling I remember, probably the same one Swift was going for almost 300 years ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 X | 9/4/2011

    " In spite of its antiquated writing style, it was quite successfully funny. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/27/2011

    " I do not understand by 18th century writers have to be so unbearably wordy. Jonathan Swift, though sometimes you are kind of funny, you always manage to kill the joke. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 3/1/2011

    " When I taught this piece, I had my students come up with different dishes that babies could be made into--it was absolutely hysterical. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rima | 1/8/2011

    " how he can be so cynical, so deep, so playful, and so meaningful at the same time makes me admire him so much. And a Modest Proposal is him and his all cynical minds. Loved it. Completely. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jayme | 12/3/2010

    " A Modest Proposal was great. So were the rules for servants. Jonathan Swift is a master satirist. But a lot of the accompanying papers were snores--inside jokes, and even languages, with friends. So, 4 stars to the funny papers, and 2 stars to the boring letters, with an average of 3 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louis | 11/14/2010

    " Swift is a master at satire and A Modest Proposal is a brilliantly cutting commentary on the social welfare state and the aristocracy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wolfbane | 11/3/2010

    " The best part: When people do not realize he Jonathan Swift is being satire. It is my goal to write with as perfect satire as Jonathan Swift. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Waleed | 10/6/2010

    " Jonathan swift talks about a a politician who ruled in Ireland he is in love with a girl and he wrote her a proposal but she refused the part that I enjoyed is that when she refused he continued focusing on his work and accepted the fact that she doesn’t like him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tricia | 3/15/2010

    " Oh I love a good satire. I remember reading this in high school and having my mind blown open to a brand new genre I'd never read before. Lovely when that happens isn't it? I laughed so hard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 3/2/2010

    " the stuff you didn't read in high school is also very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louis | 2/24/2010

    " swift was never fair in his satire and this what i love about him.wicked,funny,mean and honest.a master at using his targets' arguments against them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mommy | 2/23/2010

    " Very interesting, if macabre, idea presented in a very plausible way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik | 2/16/2010

    " He makes a very convincing argument. I have always wanted to wear babyskin shoes. "

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About the Author
Author Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) was an Anglo-Irish priest, author, journalist, political pamphleteer, and poet. He is primarily known as a prose satirist for such works as “A Modest Proposal.” The dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral from 1713, he was considered Dublin’s foremost citizen.

About the Narrator

Norman Dietz is a writer, voice-over artist, and audiobook narrator. He has won six Earphones Awards and was named one of the fifty “Best Voices of the Century” by AudioFile magazine. He and his late wife Sandra transformed an abandoned ice-cream parlor into a playhouse, which served “the world’s best hot fudge sundaes” before and after performances. The founder of Theatre in the Works, he lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.