I was fortunate to receive a free copy of this book. A Purgatory of Misery is an in-depth and well-researched study of the events leading up to the Irish Potato Famine in the latter half of the 19th century. The author has provided an informative, eye-opening, unbiased, and moving account of the plight of the Irish poor during recurring failures of the potato harvest and the inadequacies of government and church to successfully address their needs. I wasn’t aware of the scale of the disaster, or should I say, tragedy? One million of the irish poor died from starvation and disease, and thousands were transported to the colonies. Politics and religion played their part in the effects of the famine but also the history of Ireland going back eight centuries over which politicians and the clergy had no control. I highly recommend this splendid book to anyone interested in social history or the history of Ireland.