The Irish Famine

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9781861974600: The Irish Famine
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This unique volume, comprising Colm Tóibín's acclaimed short text and a linked collection of key documents put together by one of Ireland's leading younger historians, offers a many-sided view of one's of history's most poignant and far-reaching catastrophes. This book will allow the reader to understand the complex way in which the fragmentary past is both available to us ... and distant from us.' We get those insights from Tóibín's short history and from a rich collection of documents -- government papers, recipes, journalism, letters, statistics, personal statements, all linked so the book can be read as a whole.

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About the Author:

Diarmaid Ferriter is Professor of Modern Irish History at University College, Dublin. He is the author of the acclaimed and best-selling Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000. Colm Tóibín is the author of four novels (The Blackwater Lightship was shortlisted for the Booker) and also a book about Catholic Europe.

From Library Journal:

Novelist Toibin (Blackwater Lightship) and historian and lecturer Ferriter (Dublin City Univ.) have edited and annotated a collection of letters, news reports, editorials, and statistics gathered from primary and published materials about the Irish famine of 1846-48. Contrary to a thesis first introduced in Cecil Woodham-Smith's The Great Hunger (1963), the editors argue that the famine was self-inflicted, shifting blame from the British government to Irish landowners and merchants, who aggravated the distress and profited from it. But this work further accuses historians of ignoring the role of class in the famine. Trying also to provide a study of Victorian language and psyche, the editors juxtapose death tolls and horror stories from the provinces with castigations of the indolent Irish and recipes for cooking rotten potatoes. Having written just 38 pages of narrative, the editors advance their argument using the words of famine eyewitnesses and contemporaries. Some of the excerpts are exceptional, and the concept is powerful, but as a result of the unconventional approach the selections look random and unstructured. Large academic collections will find this title an interesting exercise in alternative scholarly editing. Robert Moore, Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging, Billerica, MA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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