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Ireland's Great Famine
Interdisciplinary Essays

Cormac O Grada (author)
Paperback / softback,
Publication date:
1st August 2006

Author Biography

CORMAC O GRADA is Professor of Economics at University College Dublin and the author of Ireland: A New Economic History (Oxford, 1994); A Rocky Road: The Irish Economy since the 1920s (Manchester, 1997); Black '47 and Beyond (Princeton, 1999), and Jewish Ireland in the Age of Joyce: A Socio-Economic History (Princeton, 2006).


These essays by Ireland's leading economic historian range widely over topics associated with the Ireland's Great Famine of 1846-52. The famine was the defining event of nineteenth-century Irish history, and nineteenth-century Europe's greatest natural disaster, killing about one million people and prompting many hundreds of thousands more to emigrate. The subjects covered here include: trends in living standards before the famine; the impact of the crisis on landlords; the characteristics of famine mortality; the market for potatoes during the 1840s; the role of migration as disaster relief; the New York Irish in the wake of the famine; the famine in folklore and memory, and in comparative perspective; and the historiography of the famine in Ireland. Ireland's Great Famine includes four previously unpublished essays, together with others assembled from a wide range of publications in different fields. Some have been co-authored by other leading scholars.Taken together, the essays give a full account of the famine, its effects, what was and was not done to alleviate it, how it compares with other (especially modern third world) famines, and how successive scholars have tackled these matters. This will become a standard reference in both Irish history and the international field of famine studies. The essays include collaborations with Andres Eiriksson, Timothy Guinnane, Joel Mokyr and Kevin O'Rourke.