The Irish potato famine of the 1840s, perhaps the most appalling event of the Victorian era, killed over a million people and drove as many more to emigrate to America. It may not have been the result of deliberate government policy, yet British `obtuseness, short-sightedness and ignorance' - and stubborn commitment to laissez-faire `solutions' - largely caused the disaster and prevented any serious efforts to relieve suffering. The continuing impact on Anglo-Irish relations was incalculable, the immediate human cost almost inconceivable. In this vivid and disturbing book Cecil Woodham-Smith provides the definitive account.`A moving and terrible book. It combines great literary power with great learning. It explains much in modern Ireland - and in modern America' D.W. Brogan.