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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Great Hunger: Ireland: 1845-1849 Paperback – September 1, 1992

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From AudioFile

Frederick Davidson reads this immensely detailed audiobook with a rich English accent. It's as if a robed Oxford don is giving a series of lectures on the Irish potato famine and its consequences. Davidson reads the myriad English and Irish names of people and places, as well as the many complicated sentences, without a stumble. The problem with this audiobook is that its very "Englishness" would likely be difficult for many American ears to listen to for 25 hours. M.L.C. © AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Group; Reissue edition edition (September 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014014515X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140145151
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
One would be pressed to call "The Great Hunger" an easy read. Written in 1964, its style and dense recitation of facts can leave the reader mired in detail.
Yet through the often thick prose comes a shocking tale of human disaster on an enormous scale. The near-total reliance of the Irish on the potato leads to calamity when that crop is destroyed by blight in the mid-1840's. Beholding to their landlords (many of them absentee), virtually penniless, they are swept into a vortex of helplessness and starvation.
While local officials in Ireland realise with horror the consequences of the crop failure, government bureaucrats in London stubbornly insist it would be wrong to send massive food relief because it would undermine free enterprise.
The author quotes extensively from numerous first hand accounts which graphically describe the suffering and despair of the Irish peasantry.
The book however is not limited to the tragedy that took place in Ireland. Woodham-Smith relates how thousands of Irish, many of them ill with typhus, flee their homeland for North America. Many of the vessels are poorly equipped and provisioned, and their cargo is human misery.
One of the most appalling chapters deals with the scene at Grosse Isle, Quebec, where a small fever hospital is overrun by sick and dying immigrants. At one point in the summer of 1847, dozens of ships are moored in the St. Lawrence River, waiting to discharge their gravely-ill passengers. The line of vessels stretches several miles. The deaths number in the thousands.
This is just one of many compelling images which emerge from Woodham-Smith's history, and they more than compensate for the often complex and detailed way he presents his information.
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Format: Paperback
A good book to read on the subject if you you're looking for a single text on the subject of the Irish Potato Famine. I do appreciate the technical and fact filled nature of Smith's writing. What it lacks in specific details on human suffering it makes up for with detailed accounts on the conditions and players that led to this tragedy. This book covers the political and cultural environments of the time as well as the greater effect the famine had on Ireland and the rest of the world. I came away from the book with a clearer picture of the relationship between Ireland and England, and a better understanding of the role each country (and their populations, press, government officials, landowners, farmers and royalty) played.
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I first bought this book at the Famine Museum years ago in Ireland - it is the best book I have ever read explaining in A+ academic style exactly how it came about that millions of Irish died during what most call "famine," when it was just potato blight - there was plenty of food to be had, but the irish poor weren't ALLOWED to have it. Truly the best explaination of all time, and is recommended read to anyone who wishes to know the real truth behind the political washing of these horrific years.

It's not EASY to read but it is absolutely essential reading if you are Irish.
"
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Format: Paperback
This book is not psychologically easy to read, but for those who study Irish history it is a must. Seven years ago I did a huge amount of reading about the Famine, and of everything I read, this book was the finest overall study. Sean O'Faolain's remark that this book is "among the most terrible and moving epics ever written of the near-destruction and tremendous tenacity of a whole people," remains as true now as when he wrote it.
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It is superbly researched and presented. Both sides of the ghastly dilemma are given. The British laissez faire philosophy vs the reality of the genocide of the upwards of two million Irish peasantry.
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Horrific is an oft overused term today but it is the perfect word to describe this extraordinary account of the Irish famine. I guarantee that it was a much more complex set of circumstances responsible than is generally known.

It explains a lot about the historic relationship of England and Ireland as well as the Irish impact on Canada and the United States.

The last 100 pages or so begins to lose some of the fervor of the 1st 350 pages, but it is a compelling and a necessary read if you wish to understand anything about the Ireland of the past 200 years.
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thi book is filled with good insight on how the british handled this awful tragedy. especially important to me was the chapter on how the irish were treated at the quarantine station in staten island.,new York. many of those who died at the quarantine station were buried in mass graves with no recording of name .age or place of origin. in 1928,this mass grave area was converted into the silver lake golf course
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