Magazine February 10, 2014, Issue

The Dean’s Delight

Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World, by Leo Damrosch (Yale, 592 pp., $35)

When Peter O’Toole died in December, the obituaries dutifully mentioned his starring role in Lawrence of Arabia as well as his other achievements on screen and stage. Most overlooked one of the stranger episodes in his career. In 1984, he read “A Modest Proposal,” the famous essay by Jonathan Swift, at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. The performance startled many in the audience, as O’Toole urged them to solve the problem of Irish poverty by eating the children of the poor. A few dozen listeners walked out. More heckled. They didn’t know they were hearing a satire.

Swift would have laughed

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

A Dangerous Deal

For nearly three decades, Iran’s ayatollahs have outfoxed and outmaneuvered Western counter-proliferation efforts. Tehran has repeatedly bested our diplomats, our spies, and, most especially, our gullible political leaders. In the ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The Twain, Meeting

About ten, fifteen years ago, a phrase occurred to me: “the Sinification of music.” This refers to the ever-growing influence of Chinese musicians on Western classical music. Has this influence ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Racist Roll Call Reading Kevin D. Williamson’s article “Racism! Squirrel!” (December 31 issue) brought back fond memories of roll call when we had a substitute teacher. As the teacher got to ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Little-known fact: François Hollande’s security is provided by Arkansas state troopers. ‐ “What difference, at this point, does it make?” asked the presumed front-runner in the 2016 presidential race when ...
Athwart

Arise Ye Media

Over at Salon there’s an excerpt from the book Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. The title, you suspect, comes from John Lennon’s limp hymn to a happy hippie hand-holding ...
The Long View

Document Extracts

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FEDERAL WIRETAP TRANSCRIPT NEW JERSEY STATE GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION [PLEASE NOTE, AS PER DIRECTOR, THIS INFORMATION IS CLOSE-HOLD.] Begin Extract #1 10:23:02 [static] Unidentified Male Voice: “. . . and we make them hurt, ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

WORLD An edgeless bird Made of words Passes above the yard. Dense as a hoof, Skids from the roof A block of numbers, falling, striking hard. In the water tank Stirs, with a clank, A serpent, gorged on images, ...

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