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by Peter Moskos

June 27, 2011

A Q & A

In the Crime Report:
The Crime Report: A lot of people have compared your book to Jonathan Swift’s essay, “A Modest Proposal.” But Swift’s work was pure satire, where yours is an honest look at a possible alternative punishment. Does the comparison frustrate you, or is it apt?

Peter Moskos:
Neither. I like the comparison. True, I don’t think Swift was really proposing eating babies; (while) I am seriously proposing giving the choice of being flogged. But I do see the book primarily as a thought experiment, having a little intellectual fun. In that sense, I think it is somewhat like “A Modest Proposal.” My book isn’t a satire, but I am trying to address real issues and be a bit provocative. So it’s not a crazy analogy.

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