My article on Jonathan Swift–in the form of a review of a new biography–appears in the new National Review:
He was a conservative as well — another certainty. Applying modern political labels to figures from the past can be tricky. With Swift, however, it’s a cinch: Damrosch describes him as “sternly conservative” in his prologue. That’s fair, though Swift was more irreverent than stern, and he drew from a set of bedrock beliefs that most of today’s conservatives would recognize and appreciate. He regarded human nature with pessimism, viewed the idea of moral progress with suspicion, and preferred the tried and true to the new and untested.