RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewIn this excellent literary biography, Stubbs draws on extensive research to contextualize Swift’s courtier’s life within the hurly-burly of 18th-century foreign and domestic politics, also inspecting Swift’s clerical life within the doctrinal struggles of the church. He studies Swift’s literary motivations and professional contradictions: a man who disavowed political parties but became a Tory operative; a fastidious, conservative priest who became 'king of the mob,' rebelling against the established order with satire that delved into the stink of daily life ... In his early chapters, Stubbs falls into a scholar’s trap: oversharing hard-won research. He digresses too often, losing Swift in a blizzard of ancillary detail. That structural haze rapidly clears, however, and is redeemed by stellar prose, a firm narrative grip and nuanced historical and literary readings. Private yet performative, generous yet stingy, conservative yet rebellious, Swift was a knotty character. Stubbs brings an incisive intellect to the task of untangling him.