Book Review of Famine Diary: Journey to a New World

Topics: Great Famine, Phytophthora infestans, Ireland Pages: 3 (953 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Gerald Keegan’s Famine Diary
Written by:
James J Managan

The Irish Famine was a very important event that happened in 1847. It had killed between 500,000 and 1.5 million people (The Irish Potato famine, 1847). The potato was not even a native crop to Ireland, until around 1570 when it was brought over from The Americas. In the beginning, the potato seemed like it was the ideal crop for reasons such as it grew perfectly in the Irish climate, it was easy to grow, and it did not take up much space. By 1840, 1/3 of Ireland’s population was dependent on the potato. Then, in 1845, came the potato blight (The Irish Potato Famine, 1847). This caused 3/4 of the crop to die out. Starvation along with disease caused the deaths of between 500,000 to 1.5 million people. Also, one million people fled the country. Many of the people involved in the Famine had good attitudes and were always looking towards helping one another, instead of just helping themselves.

Famine Diary: Journey to a New World, written by James J Mangen, was based off of Gerald Keegan’s journal called Summer of Sorrow. Gerald Keegan crossed the Atlantic Ocean from County Siglo, Ireland to Grosse Ile, Quebec, Canada. In this time though, Quebec was still a part of Great Britain. Gerald Keegan went through many obstacles in his journey to Quebec.

Many of the people’s attitudes involved in the Irish Famine were very positive. A lot of them gave what little they had to others who needed it even more. It is quite amazing how even when these people were going through tough times, they managed to still think of others. They had so much spirit and wanted to help everyone else as much as they could. Even though the book did not say much about the coffin ships, these people’s lives aboard the ships were very miserable, and all of these people continued to stay very brave. There was a lot of disease and illness spreading quickly through out the ships. Many ships departed from Ireland in...

Cited: Managan, James. Gerald Keegan 's Famine Diary. Dublin: Wolfhound press, 1991. Print.
"Irish Potato Famine." The History Place. The History Place, n.d. Web. 2 Dec 2012. <>.
"The Irish Potato Famine, 1847", EyeWitness to History, (2006)
. "Grosse Ile de Quebec." Journeys to Canada. Moytura Graphic Design, n.d. Web. 2 Dec 2012. <>.
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