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The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy Paperback – September 24, 2013
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“Many intriguing points [are] made in this book…Coogan's pages spark and sputter with a deep, lingering, well-cherished rage.” ―Peter Behrens, The Washington Post
“To many, Mr. Coogan… [is the] voice of modern Irish history… makes a compelling case for why we should revisit our current understanding of [the famine].” ―The Economist
“Coogan's insistent examining of the moral dimensions of that nation's policies, and how they fueled the horrors on the ground, represents his greatest contribution to the voluminous scholarship on the Irish famine, and is this book's greatest strength.” ―The Boston Globe
“In disturbingly graphic images and compelling language based on true stories from the Famine archives and peppered with his own perspective, Coogan captures the utter devastation wrought by Ireland's greatest ecological disaster which reduced the population by one fourth.” ―Irish Edition
“The best part is that it did such a good job at keeping me interested that I'm eager to read on and learn more.” ―Fingers and Prose
“Coogan makes no bones about accusing the government of the day of "a genocidal intent" ... His writing on Ireland's past is intelligent and accessible to a large readership.” ―BBC History Magazine
About the Author
Tim Pat Coogan is Ireland's best known historian and the author of numerous important works on Irish history, including Michael Collins and The IRA, published to wide acclaim. The former editor of The Irish Press, he lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Top customer reviews
A very readable book, the evidence which emerged to me does not quite support the notion of a plot. While a clearly influential civil servant - Charles Trevelyan, Assistant Secretary to the Treasury - certainly appears to see the Famine as the work of 'Providence' and even as a solution to over-population and inefficient farming practices, the actions of the politicians including Peel, Russell and others come across as sympathetic if somewhat bumbling.
This book does convey the horror of the period and draws an interesting parallel with Ireland's current situation where a large element of economic/fiscal control is exercised by an external force which appears largely driven by doctrinaire ideologies.
I would recommend this book highly if you have any interest in the topic; it does bring out the complexity of the history of the period and is very readable.
Saddening but enlightening, this history of the famine stands out by not dwelling too much on the human agony, misery, destitution and death - as many histories of this era tend to do - but on the wider response to the potato blight. Some, like the Quakers are lauded for their humanitarian efforts. But the real story is of how a greater power engineered evictions and emigration to decimate a nation.
This episode in our history has been plastered over for years. Well done to Tim Pat Coogan for a book very well written and to the point.
Well done to Quakers as well in that time.
Most recent customer reviews
Explains a great deal about the Irish psyche and moreover why the dreadful soapy potato is the only variant available in USA.Read more