In the famine years of 1845-52, Ireland lost a quarter of its population. An estimated 1 million people died of hunger and disease, while another million immigrated to places like Boston, New York, and Liverpool. In “The Famine Plot,’’ renowned Irish journalist and historian Tim Pat Coogan (“Michael Collins”) argues that these 2 million did not suffer simply because of a natural disaster, but due to a policy of not-so-benign neglect by England, which then governed the island nation.
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