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The Graves Are Walking Audiobook

The Graves Are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People

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Publisher's Summary

It started in 1845 and lasted six years. Before it was over, more than one million men, women, and children starved to death and another million fled the country. Measured in terms of mortality, the Great Irish Potato Famine was one of the worst disasters in the 19th century-it claimed twice as many lives as the American Civil War. A perfect storm of bacterial infection, political greed, and religious intolerance sparked this catastrophe. But even more extraordinary than its scope were its political underpinnings, and The Graves Are Walking provides fresh material and analysis on the role that nineteenth-century evangelical Protestantism played in shaping British policies and on Britain's attempt to use the famine to reshape Irish society and character.

Perhaps most important, this is ultimately a story of triumph over perceived destiny: for 50 million Americans of Irish heritage, the saga of a broken people fleeing crushing starvation and remaking themselves in a new land is an inspiring story of exoneration.

Based on extensive research and written with novelistic flair, The Graves Are Walking draws a portrait that is both intimate and panoramic, that captures the drama of individual lives caught up in an unimaginable tragedy, while imparting a new understanding of the famine's causes and consequences.

©2012 John Kelly (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"[Kelly's] exhaustive research covers every aspect, threading the gruesome events into a huge panoramic tapestry that reveals political greed lurking behind the pestilence." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (293 )
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4.1 (266 )
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  •  
    Lee Texas 03-07-14
    Lee Texas 03-07-14 Member Since 2016

    Former firefighter and police officer turned history professor. I enjoy a good story be it fiction or non.

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    "In A Word......Excellent!"
    Any additional comments?

    As the great-great-great-grandson of immigrants who came to America during "The Great Hunger", I've always had a healthy interest in this tragic period in Irish History. This book did not disappoint. As a community college history professor, I have to admit that when I listen to non-fiction books, I hate the ones that are heavy handed with facts, figures, and dates. I prefer those with a broader narrative that weaves the "meat" of the story in with the stories of individuals. This book does not disappoint in that regard. I have to say that I listened to it once just for the story and then again for specific details. It is easy to get lost in, for sure.

    I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in this period of Irish History. I particularly recommend it to Irish-Americans, Irish-Canadians, or Irish-Australians who's families fled Ireland during this era. It will bring you closer to your ancestors and you will get a better understanding of exactly what transpired during those tragic years.

    Modern day arguments over whether or not the "Famine" was an act of genocide or not certainly have their place. However, by focusing entirely on that we lose sight of what is really important. These were human beings who endured tremendous hardships and were forced out of a land they loved. Indeed, they arrived on distant shores an unwanted people, certainly in America, but through it all they endured and then they thrived. As we approach St. Patrick's Day, let those of us who are lucky enough to be descended from these brave men and women never forget the struggles that our families went through to make for us the life that we enjoy today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 02-27-14
    John 02-27-14
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    "Why I Am the Way I Am"
    What did you love best about The Graves Are Walking?

    I've often pondered the source of my inherent disdain and mistrust (perhaps hatred) for those in authority, particularly political authority. Part of the answer is in this book. Two of my ancestors fled Ireland in 1847 and made their way aboard coffin ships to the United States. I can feel their overwhelming influence even across the four generations that separate us. Brilliant Book and Wonderful Narration. Everyone should listen. It teaches a lesson few are willing to recognize, that the worst suffering and evil in this world flows principally from the hands of those in power who are convinced they are performing God's will.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bokworm 11-03-13
    Bokworm 11-03-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Very interesting"

    This was an easy book to stay with--a historical picture of the years around the years of potato crop failures in Ireland and Europe. Very descriptive of the effects on workers, their families. The role England played in NOT responding to the crisis. Money is the primary element in creating the death of hundreds of thousands of poor in Ireland. The book starts before the famine and carries it forward to the Irish exodus to other countries--and the disappointing reception these poor people received. Very interesting and very well written. Very nicely narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Gretchen 10-20-13
    Gretchen 10-20-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Very informative"

    I found this to be very informative but maybe too much like reading a text book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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