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Flight from Famine: The Coming of the Irish to Canada Paperback – Mar 23 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (March 23 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554884187
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554884186
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #202,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The Irish were nothing if not resilient, and MacKay peppers his book with little anecdotes linking past and present...MacKay's book is a delight to read because as a historian, he knows that the best way to engage readers is by telling the stories of ordinary people-and he does a superlative job of it.

(Naomi Lakritz Calgary Herald, The)

"(Flight from Famine) is a story of survival, courage and, above all, hope."

(The Novascotian)

"An intriguing and comprehensive history, Flight From Famine is highly recommended for scholarly collections."

(Midwest Book Review)

One of Canada's founding peoples, the Irish arrived in the Newfoundland fishing stations as early as the seventeenth century. By the eighteenth century they were establishing farms and settlements from Nova Scotia to the Great Lakes. Then, in the 1840s, came the failures of Ireland's potato crop, which people in the west of Ireland had depended on for survival. "And that," wrote a Sligo countryman, "was the beginning of the great trouble and famine that destroyed Ireland."

Flight from Famine is the moving account of a Victorian-era tragedy that has echoes in our own time but seems hardly credible in the light of Ireland's modern prosperity. The famine survivors who helped build Canada in the years that followed Black '47 provide a testament to courage, resilience, and perseverance. By the time of Confederation, the Irish population of Canada was second only to the French, and four million Canadians can claim proud Irish descent.

From the Back Cover

“Terrific popular history.…Death ships lurching across the Atlantic, epidemics raging in Quebec, Catholic-Protestant skirmishes in the Ottawa Valley, the body of Thomas D’Arcy McGee being paraded through packed Montreal streets.…Flight from Famine is a testament to the resilience and courage of a community.”
–Montreal Gazette --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 17 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book to help me understand our family genealogy, & I felt like I stumbled on a treasure. The book is very detailed, but it grabs the facts, the heartache & the resolve of an amazing people. Most modern Canadians may not realize the events' importance, but the coming of the Irish changed this country in an important way. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An intriguing and comprehensive history Aug. 17 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
America was not the only place Europeans looked to for salvation from the problems of the Old World. "Flight from Famine: The Coming of the Irish to Canada" tells the story of the Irish who came to the America's northern neighbor when the infamous potato famine wreaked havoc and starvation upon Ireland's population. An intriguing and comprehensive history, "Flight From Famine" is highly recommended for scholarly collections.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Eye Opener on the Irish Migration Nov. 23 2014
By Patrick R McGill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If your ancestors hail from Canada and they are Irish this book gives you some idea of what they went through when they came to the New World. It's truly amazing that any of the Irish actually made it... God Bless the French, they took in the orphans, without changing their names
Five Stars April 25 2015
By Knitpurlnana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thorough research!

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