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  • Published: 1 October 2010
  • ISBN: 9781742741345
  • Imprint: RHA eBooks Adult
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

Three Famines




A standout history told with Tom Keneally panache.

A standout history told with Tom Keneally panache.

This is the story of three great famines. The first is an Gorta Mór, the great hunger of Ireland, which began in 1846 and whose end-date is a matter of debate. The second is the less well-known but more 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 again under the brutal dictator Mengistu in the 1980s.

Keneally himself visited Eritrea in 1984 to see the effects of this grave event. In those who suffered these famines; in those who denied their suffering; in those who propounded theories to excuse it; in those who - against the wishes of each government - told the world what was happening; and in those who tried to relieve it, there is a remarkable continuity of impulse and experience and dilemma. Though these famines are diverse, they are in many ways as similar as if they were related by DNA, or a malignant force of fallibility.

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.

  • Published: 1 October 2010
  • ISBN: 9781742741345
  • Imprint: RHA eBooks Adult
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the author

Tom Keneally

Thomas Keneally was born in 1935 and his first novel was published in 1964. Since then he has written a considerable number of novels and non-fiction works. His novels include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler's List and The People's Train. He has won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Mondello International Prize and has been made a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, a Fellow of the American Academy, recipient of the University of California gold medal, and is now the subject of a 55 cent Australian stamp.

He has held various academic posts in the United States, but lives in Sydney.

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