Satire is the use of humor, exaggeration, or literary devices to ridicule social vices, and behavior. Satire is at it's most cunning when it is able to paint social or societal norms as vice masquerading as virtue.
Here are five great examples of the genre:
1. Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb
The only film on this list. This modern masterpiece was directed and co-written by Stanley Kubrick. It is a satire of the Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., and specifically saves its strongest criticism for the arms race between the two powers.
2. Candide by Voltaire
One of the sharpest satires of all time. Written by philosopher Voltaire, this novella is a sweeping attack on the optimism of philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment. One doesn't need to be an optimist, or like philosophy, to appreciate what Voltaire accomplished.
3. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
One of the best satires of the twentieth century sees the devil arrive in Russia to cause chaos, flanked by a gun wielding feline. Bulgakov satirizes the birth of the Soviet Union, and the purges during the reign of Stalin. The novel is also a rewriting of Goethe's Faust, and has many philosophical themes.
4. True History by Lucian of Samasota
An ancient satire of travel tales that were popular in late antiquity. The text also contains space travel, warring alien tribes, a sea of milk and an island of cheese. This one is "great" in its historic relevance, and probably won't make an enjoyable read.
5. Animal Farm by George Orwell
The famous allegory of the formation of the Soviet Union. Orwell satirizes the failed intentions of the Soviet state through a farm run amok.