This is the story of three terrible famines. The first is an Gorta Mór, the great hunger of Ireland, which began in 1846. The second is the deadly famine that struck Bengal in 1943. The third is the Ethiopian famine, which first sprung up in lethal form in the 1970s under Emperor Haile Selassie and then reappeared under the brutal dictator Mengistu in the 1980s. Keneally visited Eritrea in 1984 to see the effects of this grave event. Tom Keneally shares these three shocking histories with his customary penetrating wisdom, and he presents a controversial theory in his utterly compelling narrative: in all three famines, ideology, mindsets of governments, racial preconceptions and administrative incompetence were, ultimately, more lethal than the initiating blights, the loss of potatoes or rice or the grain named teff.
‘A powerful non-fiction work that reminds us that hunger has been – and remains – among the greatest of the world’s injustices.’ Stephen Romei, The Australian
‘I am sure Tom Keneally is incapable of writing a dull book’ — Andrew Riemer, Sydney Morning Herald
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Important account of a terrible subject
- Lord Peridot