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The Famine Ships: The Irish Exodus to America Hardcover – March 1, 1997

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; 1st American ed edition (March 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805053131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805053135
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,297,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The defining moments of Irish history are studded with arrivals (St. Patrick, Oliver Cromwell) and departures (St. Columbanus, James Joyce). In the 1840s the great arrival was the Potato Blight, and the even greater departure was the multitude of ships carrying the nearly one million emigrants escaping the Irish famine to America. In this work, Laxton, a former newspaper editor, narrates the stories of these emigrants as they sailed for the the New World. The work is a fascinating compilation derived from family histories handed down through the generations; it describes both the horrible conditions aboard the ships and the emigrants' boundless optimism concerning the freedom of America. This well-written supplement to the various works on the Irish famine exodus finally draws attention to the people and the ships that defined a moment in Irish and American history.?John J. Doherty, Montana State Univ., Bozeman
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.


For Mr. Laxton, a journalist of Irish descent, compiling the chronicles of horrific shipwrecks, unlikely rescue dramas and the specifications of the emigrant ships was obviously a labour of love.... But although his enthusiasm for the subject is undoubted, Mr. Laxton's method is haphazard and his handling of the context sketchy. -- The Economist

More About the Author

Edward Laxton is a veteran Fleet Street reporter who learned his trade before mobile phones were invented and the phrase hacking belonged to folks who rode horses in their leisure.
He was a reporter and news editor on The Daily Express and The Daily Mirror in the hey-days and great days of National newspapers in Britain.
His first book "Busted" was the true-life story of a hippie-detective who lived undercover on the drugs scene in and around Oxford. His second "The Famine Ships" told the harrowing tales of the starving Irish emigrants in the 1840s, and their passage to America.
Trying his hand at non-fiction, the story behind "Doyle's Orchard" comes to life using his experience as an investigative journalist.