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Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850.

BARTOLETTI, Susan Campbell. Black potatoes; the story of the great Irish Famine, 1845-1850. Houghton Mifflin. 184p. illus. map. bibliog. index. c2001. 0-618-54883-1. $9.95. JSA

It is estimated that in the 1840s, each person in Ireland ate between 7 and 15 pounds of potatoes a day, and many animals ate potatoes as well. But when a fungus attacked the fields, a crisis quickly developed. The Great Famine led to even further resentment against the governing English after the death of a million from starvation and disease and the scattering of some two million more, and it strengthened the determination of the Irish to overcome such adversity and survive as a people.

Vivid stories were collected from descendants of the famine-stricken poor, and powerful pen-and-ink sketches from contemporary newspapers make clear the dire situation of those who were evicted and the many who were starving. Ethnic and religious prejudices are presented realistically, and there are references to the present crisis in many societies and what the appropriate response should be today when human beings lack access to food. A powerful and important book. Maureen Griffin, Researcher, Winthrop, MA
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Author:Griffin, Maureen
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 2005
Words:187
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