In 1845, a disaster struck Ireland. Overnight, a mysterious blight attacked the potato crops, turning the potatoes black and destroying the only real food of nearly six million people. Over the next five years, the blight attacked again and again. These years are known today as the Great Irish Famine, a time when one million people died from starvation and disease, and two million more fled their homeland.
Black Potatoes is the compelling story of men, women, and children who defied landlords and searched empty fields for scraps of harvested vegetables and edible weeds to eat, who walked several miles each day to hard-labor jobs for meager wages and to reach soup kitchens, and who committed crimes just to be sent to jail, where they were assured of a meal. It's the story of children and adults who suffered from starvation, disease, and the loss of family and friends, as well as those who died. It's also the story of the heroes among the Irish people and how they held on to hope.
©2001 Susan Campbell Bartoletti (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"A powerful and important book." (KLIATT)
I recommend that this book be read/listened to after you've already completed Cecil Woodham-Smith's "The Great Hunger" (also available on Audible.com). "Black Potatoes" closely follows (and comes off as heavily derived from) "The Great Hunger", but whereas "TGH" focuses primarily on the perspective of the British Government, "Black Potatoes" offers a summary of "THG" as a backdrop for presenting personal stories from the starving Irish themselves. Not authoritative by any stretch, "Black Potatoes" is a capable summary and supplement to Woodham-Smith's book. The narrator and his pronunciation of Irish names are tolerable.
I've heard a lot about the Irish famine over the years, but it wasn't until I read this book, Black Potatoes, that I fully understood the extent of the horrible conditions that so many people had to go through.
Black Potatoes is an excellent audio book in which both the author and narrator do an excellent job of returning the struggles of the Irish people during the great potato famine back in the 1840s.
Even though the book is very descriptive, it's not unnecessarily gruesome or ugly and its betrayal of the struggles, but it's real and realistic and can be felt throughout every chapter.
I highly recommend Black Potatoes for readers who are interested in history and in the struggles of the people through no fault of their own, had to deal with a Perfect Storm of Mother Nature situations that for the most part, were beyond their control.
this book was a wonderfully efficient overview of the potato famine in Ireland. there is no opinion or fluff. it is a quick read and very well written. the book is fully encompassing of the tragedy without being too long or tedious.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its narration. I like the brevity of it. Recently, I read 'The Great Influenza,' which was waaaay too long. This book got more done in its 3 hours.
I doubt I'll listen to this one again. Mostly because I'm using it as an introduction to this historical event, and nothing to do with the quality of the book or narration.
It wasn't a feel good book. It's not supposed to be. It introduces one to a very sad period of time for the Irish people. It's an important book that more people should listen to.
"A great read."
A very interesting listen, I learned much from this writer about the hard times of the famine, indeed I often wonder if any of my Fathers relations would have lived through this time, one cannot help to feel the pain and suffering of the time.
I already new the history but this still held my attention and interest.A worth while read for both English and Irish folk.
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