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Jonathan Swift


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About the Author

Leo Damrosch is Ernest Bernbaum Research Professor of Literature at Harvard University. He is the author of nine books, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius, a National Book Award Finalist. He lives in Newton, MA.


"Damrosch's approach is forensic. . .For me the Swift who emerges from these patient investigations is a more rounded personality."-George Walden, The Times -- George Walden * The Times *
'If Damrosch follows Ehrenpreis in anything, it's in the ambition, indicated by his 'life and world' subtitle, to ground biography in social context. He does that job with efficiency and a sure touch.'-Thomas Keymer, London Review of Books -- Thomas Keymer * London Review of Books *
"Convincing and vivid. . . . Damrosch has . . . let us glimpse the human roots of Swift's sometimes inhuman irony."-John Mullan, The Guardian -- John Mullan * Guardian *
"Damrosch is incisive about Swift's personality . . . and writes with fine Swiftian clarity, but does not simplify. He acknowledges that, investigating Swift, you run into a revolving door of contradictions. . . . But Damrosch sees him, rightly, not just as a tragic figure but as a fearless thinker whose works are an antidote to optimism's happy lies." - John Carey, London Sunday Times -- John Carey * The Sunday Times *

"[Damrosch] writes elegantly, has exactly the right mix of empathy and detachment, and is admirably open-minded in his approach to complex evidence - some of it the product of very new scholarship. . . this will be the definitive life of Swift for years to come."-Jonathan Bate, New Statesman -- Jonathan Bate * New Statesman *
'. . .an oxygenated account that blows fresh air on Swift, the most readable account in recent times' -Brean Hammond, History Today -- Brean Hammond * History Today *
'The book, far from being a dry academic analysis based on sketchy records, is a romp through the years when Britain became established as a world power. . .Damrosch writes with wry humour and clarity of detail, often cuttingly disputing the theories of previous Swift biographers. To read this hefty book is to get a highly enjoyable education.'-Claire Looby, The Irish Times -- Claire Looby * The Irish Times *

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