Black Potatoes

  • by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
  • Narrated by Graeme Malcolm
  • 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"A powerful and important book." (KLIATT)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Decent Companion to Woodham-Smith's Book

I recommend that this book be read/listened to after you've already completed Cecil Woodham-Smith's "The Great Hunger" (also available on "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.
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- Aaron

Just the facts

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.
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- Tina

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios