Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World

Jonathan Swift is known today as the author of Gulliver’s Travels, the classic satiric fantasy. But during his lifetime, Swift was famous as a major political and religious figure and as a national hero who fiercely protested English exploitation of his native Ireland. In a discussion of his new book, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography, Harvard’s Leo Damrosch shows how Swift’s public version of his life — the one accepted until recently — was deliberately misleading. Damrosch is Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature emeritus at Harvard. In May 2011 he spoke at the Library about his book on Alexis de Tocqueville.
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Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World

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