Hunter S. Thompson 's Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist , which contains hundreds of private letters written by Thompson over the years, contains a letter in which he uses A Modest Proposal' s satire technique against the Vietnam War . Thompson writes a letter to a local Aspen newspaper informing them that, on Christmas Eve, he was going to use napalm to burn a number of dogs and hopefully any humans they find. This letter protests against the burning of Vietnamese people occurring overseas.
Swift, by 1729, was quite late in his career, being already over 60 years old. If his more careful, complex, difficult satires had not been sufficiently understood and appreciated, it was time to bang the people over the head with a satire that they could recognize and which would renew interest in his other works. Although Gulliver’s Travels was fresh in people’s minds, it was already 25 years after A Tale of a Tub . Anyone who becomes intrigued by Jonathan Swift after reading “A Modest Proposal” should go on to the works that are worthy of a more sophisticated critic.