"This impassioned work shows a particularly impressive mastery of published sources, of the well known primary sources, and extraordinarily creative work in the archives. The book is important for Irish studies, and for anthropologists and others who study great social upheaval from eye-witness accounts." George Marcus,Rice University
"This book is original, well researched, and beautifully written. It is a first rate piece of work and a great contribution to the scholarship of Ireland as well as the scholarship in a variety of fields, including anthropology, history, folklore, and literary studies. . . . McLean reads through the accounts of the famine with an eye to the absent presence of the texts, the unexpressed horrors, the conventions of primitivism, the ambivalence of modernity, the anxieties of political economy." Begoña Aretxaga,University of Texas at Austin
From the Inside Flap
The Event and its Terrors undertakes a critical reimagining of one of the major events of Irish history—the Great Famine of the 1840s—and of its subsequent legacies. Drawing on a wide range of sources, past and present, it considers the emergence of the Famine as an object of historical knowledge and controversy with reference both to the experience of modernity and to the production of academic and nationalist histories in colonial and post-independence Ireland. In doing so, it explores the possibility of alternative modes of engagement with the past via contemporary eyewitness accounts, oral histories, literature, folklore, and present-day commemorative events.