Issue 4-2022 small

24 April 2008 Edition

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Straight to the point of the Famine

Book Review
The O’Brien Pocket History of the Famine
By Ruán O’Donnell
Published by
The O’Brien Press
Price €7.99

Reviewed by
Sorcha Berry

THIS condensed history by Ruán Ó Donnell explores the devastating effects of the Famine on Ireland and its people. It contains new material about the Famine that has never been published before.
The Great Irish Famine is and always will be a painful period in Irish history. Almost denied by the British Government, over a million Irish citizens perished through outright hunger and emigration to more prosperous countries. Ireland’s population has never overcome this huge loss.
True to the O’Brien Pocket History series, this book certainly makes it easy to access reliable and trustworthy factual information regarding this era. For those who have an interest in history, particularly Irish history, The O’Brien Pocket History of the Famine will definitely spark your interest in seeking more information. It is not long and overdrawn but straight to the point by telling you all you need to know.
Some of the aspects covered in O’Donnell’s book are the devastation the Famine imprinted on the Irish people, the inhumane treatment by the British Government of the Irish, and the political disagreements between those in power about food distribution amongst starving citizens.
This is undoubtedly a useful ‘primer’ reference book to anybody interested in exploring or writing an account of the Irish.
Ruán O’Donnell does a fantastic job gathering information and expressing it in a simple and interesting way and making it a considerable amount easier to study this unforgettable and brutal time in our history under Britain’s rule.
If history is your passion but your time is limited then this book is undoubtedly a ‘must buy’.

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