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The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy Hardcover – 22 Nov 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st Edition edition (22 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230109527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230109520
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'Tim Pat Coogan...has done extensive research and produced a book which is informative, educational and interesting. The Famine Plot is well worth reading and studying as the descendants of the main actors are still in power today.' - Marxist Review

Book Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the history you dont learn in school.
Tim Pat Coogan has done his research well and shows that what British historians called a natural disaster was made so much worse by manipulation and deceit by Westminster politicians and greedy British landowners.
Well worth a read!
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tells the British, the Irish, and everyone else in the world shoes interested (the Americans?) the truth about the Irish potato famine - not an accidental and unavoidable natural tragedy, but an act of state-sponsored genocide comparable to Stalin's terror famine in the Ukraine in the Thirties (the Holodomor) or even the deeds of the Nazi's - although perhaps the most pertinent comparison was what was being done to the Native Americans and Australian aborigines at around the same time in the 19th century. Indeed it ha occurred to me that if a recent book can call German colonial repressions in Namibia just before World War One "The Kaiser's Holocaust" then the Irish famine could equally well be called "Queen Victoria's Holocaust".* *Ireland is the only European country to have less people today than in 1800, indeed about half as many (four million as against 8 million 200 years ago0. Even Poland, despite the worst efforts of both Hitler and Stalin, has more people today than before the war. Read the truth about the Irish famine-genocide. Read it now.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Terrific book! I discovered so much about the Famine that I had never previously known. The phrase 'taking the soup' was something I had heard from my childhood in the suburbs of Glasgow but had never realised its meaning.
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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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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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