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The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy Paperback – 1 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; Reprint edition (1 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137278838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137278838
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"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""

Book Description

A provocative history of the Great Famine from Ireland's greatest historian

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Customer Reviews

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39 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Hugh McFadden on 20 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Tim Pat Coogan has done Irish historical studies a service by examining carefully British governmental and administrative policy towards Ireland during the 1840s, and it still is a narrative that shocks. The Great Famine was variously referred to as The Great Hunger, or An Gorta Mor. But it was also known as The Great Silence', which can be understood in two different ways. Large areas of rural Ireland, particularly in the West and South-West and North-West were so de-populated that literally these areas went silent. But another way to understand the term 'The Great Silence' is that many, many Irish people who survived the Famine would not talk about it because they were too traumatised by its horrors to speak of it. And for several generations afterwards the topic was not properly examined by the historians and academics. The 1930-60 generation of Irish academic historians (revisionists) almost bent over backwards to explain and excuse the British administrations of the 1840s in terms of laissez faire economic policies and Malthusian theories: 'A million deaths might not be enough to solve the problem ... for the big landowners... etc. We still have our forelock-tuggers who baulk at criticising the British administrators. The minds of these people are still colonised. Hats off to Tim Pat Coogan for having the courage to call it for what it was ... genocide, an Irish holocaust offered up to the free market economy. [Hugh McFadden]
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Phil Dunphy on 26 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All very sad, this should be compulsory reading in all english schools. It goes to show that great evil can come from any society, even when (or perhaps because) that society believes itself to be morally and culturally superior to other cultures.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ciaran O’Pronntaigh on 28 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well researched book which brings together a number of ideas about what really happened during the Irish Famine and why things are they way they are today.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Up to date facts of the great hunger and all well referenced. Truly a great read for anyone not familiar with this terrible time for the Irish race.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By john clancy on 24 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As Harold McMillon once said,the dirty face of capitalism comes to mind. People are expendable in the extreme in the interest of greed and profit.For this reason alone I would suggest that the book be put on the curicullem of all schools.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful By KEN HUMPHRIES on 6 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brilliantly written and researched account of the Irish famine one that I found extremely disturbing in the sense that as an Englishman I could not conceive of my nation ignoring the plight of a neighbouring country, but it did. The arrogance,the insensitivity to the plight of the Irish was breath taking. I am surprised that the tragedy isn't so deeply entrenched in the Irish psyche as I think it ought to be. A deeply thought provoking book one that has caused me to think more deeply about the Irish and the way my nation treated them no wonder Irish history is punctuated with rebellion. Thanks Mr Coogan for a well constructed and researched piece of work that has had a profound affect on my thinking about my nations relationship with our neighbour
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By micmac on 4 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With some Irish ancestry, I was aware of the Great Famine but did not appreciate the horrific politics behind the failure of the potato crop and the vile opportunists who took advantage of the situation to further their plans for social engineering. An event which should live in the annals of ethnic cleansing as a dastardly crime against humanity.
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32 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Neutral VINE VOICE on 14 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
If the English never remember the Irish never forget. Unfortunately, the act of never forgetting turns facts into myths, myths into narratives and criticism of those narratives into the myth of supposed 'revisionism'. This is evident in 'The Famine Plot' which demonstrates the paranoia of those who determine their conclusions before they write. Coogan's argument is that the Famine was caused by a combination of amoral economic opportunism, long-held religious discrimination, a deliberate policy of food shortages designed to eliminate the Irish poor. He overlooks the fundamental historical practice of establishing the facts before reaching conclusions, attributing objectivity to anti-British historians and dismissing those who have alternative viewpoints. Laissez-faire economics and political indifference do not amount to a plot but are indicative of sincerely held beliefs. Blaming everything on the British is a cop-out from the proper study of history and as dishonest as Blair's artificial apology of 1997.

Coogan's ignorance leads him to suggest that 'it was the influence of the Irish Americans, led by the Kennedy family, whose ancestor Patrick Kennedy had fled Ireland during the Famine, that helped to bring an end to thirty years of strife and create a peace that still holds at the time of writing'. Apart from the fact that the Kennedy's played no part in the peace process, largely because Jack and Robert were dead before the 'troubles' began while Edward was following his brothers' example of screwing every available female while in office, he overlooks the role of the British, Ulster Unionists and paramilitary groups (except the Real IRA) in accepting military victory was unachievable and Irish civilians were the main victims.
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