Secondary Sources

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Black Potatoes: the Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 2001

This book provides a history of the Irish potato famine including two chapters devoted solely to the relief efforts by the British government and private charities. Several pages explain how the Irish needed cheap food to sustain themselves during the famine. The delay in repealing the Corn Laws (laws preventing the importation of corn, wheat, etc.) was a fateful decision because it caused many more deaths from starvation and disease.
(I used pages pages 16-39.)


Gallagher, Carole S. The Irish Potato Famine. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2002

The relief efforts of the British government and private charities are affirmed as inadequate and too late in this narrative of the famine. The book also includes many statistics about the extent of food exports. During the time of the famine, Ireland was exporting large amounts of food to other parts of the British Empire causing many people and historians to believe that the famine was “man-made” by poorly planned and executed relief policies.
(I used pages 41, 47-48, 52, 53, 56, and 62.)


Lyons, Mary E. Feed the Children First: Irish Memories of the Great Hunger. New York: Athenaeum, 2002

In this somber anecdotal account, Lyons compiles quotations from Irish citizens on the devastating effects of the potato famine that ravaged Ireland between 1845 and 1851 Lyons explains that many of the reminiscences here are abridged from those collected in a book published in Ireland in 1995, which itself drew from the Irish Folklore Commission's efforts in the 1940s to collect stories about the Great Hunger. Given this time frame, some of these observations are first-hand accounts.
(I used pages 22-31.)


Neill, Kenneth. An Illustrated History of the Irish People. New York: Mayflower Books, 1979.

Chapter 7 – “The Famine” discusses the disaster from a biological, sociological, and political perspective. A section within the chapter, however, provides outstanding information on the controversial aspects of famine relief on the part of private and public entities.
(I used pages 103-115.)