The Great Irish Potato Famine

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 320 pages
Author: J. Donnelly Jr
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9780750929288
Other: 4th ed., b&w & colour photos, maps, charts, bibliog, index
Publisher: The History Press

In the century before the great famine of the late 1840s the Irish people, and the poor especially, became increasingly dependent on the potato for their food. So when potato blight struck, causing the tubers to rot in the ground, the result was one of the worst disasters in modern history. The famine resulted in the death of about one million people and was also largely responsible for one of the great international human migrations of modern history - the mass exodus of some two million people from Ireland, mostly to North America, in the years 1845-55, changing both countries forever.

During and after this terrible human crisis, the British government was bitterly accused of not averting the disaster or offering enough aid. Some even believed that the Whig government's polices were tantamount to genocide against the Irish population.

James Donnelly's 'The Great Irish Potato Famine' provides an accessible, comprehensive account of the famine, combining narrative, analysis, historiography, and scores of contemporary illustrations. It provides vivid insights into the misery of the famine and the additional nightmare of the mass evictions that followed. Scholarly and up-to-date, this book will be required reading for anyone with an interest in Ireland or in the way natural disasters and government responses to them can alter the destiny of nations.

1. Famine and Government Response 1845-46
2. Production, Prices and Exports 1846-51
3. The Administration of 'Relief' 1846-47
4. Soup Kitchens and Amending the Poor Law
5. The Amended Poor Law and Mass Death 1847-51
6. Landlords and Tenants
7. Excess Mortality and Emigration
8. A Famine in Irish Politics
9. Constructing the Memory of the Famine 1850-1900
Select Bibliography

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The Great Irish Potato Famine


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