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