In 1845, a disaster struck Ireland. Overnight, a mysterious blight attacked the potato crops, turning the potatoes black and destroying the only real food of nearly six million people. Over the next five years, the blight attacked again and again. These years are known today as the Great Irish Famine, a time when one million people died from starvation and disease and two million more fled their homeland. Black Potatoes is the compelling story of men, women, and children who defied landlords and searched empty fields for scraps of harvested vegetables and edible weeds to eat, who walked several miles each day to hard-labor jobs for meager wages and to reach soup kitchens, and who committed crimes just to be sent to jail, where they were assured of a meal. It’s the story of children and adults who suffered from starvation, disease, and the loss of family and friends, as well as those who died. Illustrated with black and white engravings, it’s also the story of the heroes among the Irish people and how they held on to hope.
Author: Christine Kinealy
Publisher: Roberts Rinehart Pub
Release Date: 1997-01-01
The Irish famine of 1845-52 was the most decisive event in the history of Ireland. In a country of 8 million people, the Famine caused the death of approximately 1 million, forced a similar number to emigrate, and reduced the Irish population to just over 1 million by the beginning of the 20th century. This book unravels fact from opinion, confronts the role of ethnic stereotypes, and examines the ruling Anglo-Irish government's response to the disaster while analyzing its motives. She reveals the scope of the Famine's impact, showing how local communities were affected and provides a detailed account of the relief measures organized at both local and national levels. -- Publisher description
Author: Arthur Gribben
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
Release Date: 1999
Between 1845 and 1855, nearly 1.5 million Irish women, men, and children sailed to America to escape the Great Famine, triggered by successive years of potato blight. The famine and resulting emigration had a profound impact not only on the history of Ireland, but on that of England and North America as well. This volume of original essays commemorates the 150th anniversary of these epochal events and sheds new light on both the consequences of the famine and experience of the Irish in America.
Author: Cormac Ó Gráda
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2000
Moving away from the traditional narrative historical approach to the catastrophe, O Grada concentrates instead on fresh insights available through interdisciplinary and comparative methods. He highlights several economic and demographic features of the famine previously neglected in the literature, such as the part played by traders and markets, by medical science, and by migration.
The Great Irish Famine is the most pivotal event in modern Irish history, with implications that cannot be underestimated. Over a million people perished between 1845-1852, and well over a million others fled to other locales within Europe and America. By 1850, the Irish made up a quarter of the population in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. The 2000 US census had 41 million people claim Irish ancestry, or one in five white Americans. This book considers how such a near total decimation of a country by natural causes could take place in industrialized, 19th century Europe and situates the Great Famine alongside other world famines for a more globally informed approach. It seeks to try and bear witness to the thousands and thousands of people who died and are buried in mass Famine pits or in fields and ditches, with little or nothing to remind us of their going. The centrality of the Famine workhouse as a place of destitution is also examined in depth. Likewise the atlas represents and documents the conditions and experiences of the many thousands who emigrated from Ireland in those desperate years, with case studies of famine emigrants in cities such as Liverpool, Glasgow, New York and Toronto. The Atlas places the devastating Irish Famine in greater historic context than has been attempted before, by including over 150 original maps of population decline, analysis and examples of poetry, contemporary art, written and oral accounts, numerous illustrations, and photography, all of which help to paint a fuller picture of the event and to trace its impact and legacy. In this comprehensive and stunningly illustrated volume, over fifty chapters on history, politics, geography, art, population, and folklore provide readers with a broad range of perspectives and insights into this event. -- Publisher description.
Author: John Kelly
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2012-08-21
A magisterial account of one of the worst disasters to strike humankind--the Great Irish Potato Famine--conveyed as lyrical narrative history from the acclaimed author of The Great Mortality Deeply researched, compelling in its details, and startling in its conclusions about the appalling decisions behind a tragedy of epic proportions, John Kelly's retelling of the awful story of Ireland's great hunger will resonate today as history that speaks to our own times. It started in 1845 and before it was over more than one million men, women, and children would die and another two million would flee the country. Measured in terms of mortality, the Great Irish Potato Famine was the worst disaster in the nineteenth century--it claimed twice as many lives as the American Civil War. A perfect storm of bacterial infection, political greed, and religious intolerance sparked this catastrophe. But even more extraordinary than its scope were its political underpinnings, and The Graves Are Walking provides fresh material and analysis on the role that Britain's nation-building policies played in exacerbating the devastation by attempting to use the famine to reshape Irish society and character. Religious dogma, anti-relief sentiment, and racial and political ideology combined to result in an almost inconceivable disaster of human suffering. This is ultimately a story of triumph over perceived destiny: for fifty million Americans of Irish heritage, the saga of a broken people fleeing crushing starvation and remaking themselves in a new land is an inspiring story of revival. Based on extensive research and written with novelistic flair, The Graves Are Walking draws a portrait that is both intimate and panoramic, that captures the drama of individual lives caught up in an unimaginable tragedy, while imparting a new understanding of the famine's causes and consequences.
Author: Tim Pat Coogan
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2012-11-27
During a Biblical seven years in the middle of the nineteenth century, Ireland experienced the worst disaster a nation could suffer. Fully a quarter of its citizens either perished from starvation or emigrated, with so many dying en route that it was said, "you can walk dry shod to America on their bodies." In this grand, sweeping narrative, Ireland''s best-known historian, Tim Pat Coogan, gives a fresh and comprehensive account of one of the darkest chapters in world history, arguing that Britain was in large part responsible for the extent of the national tragedy, and in fact engineered the food shortage in one of the earliest cases of ethnic cleansing. So strong was anti-Irish sentiment in the mainland that the English parliament referred to the famine as "God's lesson." Drawing on recently uncovered sources, and with the sharp eye of a seasoned historian, Coogan delivers fresh insights into the famine's causes, recounts its unspeakable events, and delves into the legacy of the "famine mentality" that followed immigrants across the Atlantic to the shores of the United States and had lasting effects on the population left behind. This is a broad, magisterial history of a tragedy that shook the nineteenth century and still impacts the worldwide Irish diaspora of nearly 80 million people today.