Cormac on famine

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the purpose of blogs is to provide free advertising for a blogger’s own books. Let me buck the trend then, by giving a plug to Cormac’s latest offering, a great example of the power of economics (and history) to illuminate the human condition. I discussed it on last Saturday’s Off the Shelf, which you can download here.

11 replies on “Cormac on famine”

… then again it would be an O’Rourke giving a plug to an O Grada (-;

… think I met an earlier version of the double act years ago.

Do Amazon do barter in bank shares?

The Famine in Ireland is crucial to understanding modern Irish, in Ireland and elsewhere. Indian famines while under British rule, are also relevant.

It all boils down to rulership. S/he who has the gold makes the rules.

Readers of this post may value the opportunity of learning, if they haven’t already seen it, that the New Republic recently recognised the quality of Cormac O Grada’s contribution to our understanding of famine in a long and unusually positive review of this short book by David Rieff.


I have long held the suspicion that it would take a foreigner to be able to right such a book.

Simply because the majority of Irish would find it hard to do so with some being only too keen to leave a nationalist bias colour their findings as they start with the conlusion “it was the brits” analysis and the rest being too keen to prove no such bias and effectively working from the presumption that whatever it was “it was not the brits, no way.”

The book sounds interesting and worth a look. Thanks for highlighting it.


& looking on the bright side – considering that leading economic punters are predicting a ten year depresssion around here, or at minimum a ten year stagnation – it is most heartening to hear from Cormac that such stagnation will not result in abject famine. Gotta read up on that chapter in Marx again and figure out how to live on an acre of spuds and recalculate the barter-value of a big fat pig …………. anyone got an acre to lease for ten years? Derelict zombie sites, zombie hotel roofs, overgrown dirt tracks and roads are all open to negotiation ……… no cash – but balls of flour and home-cured bacon in lieu ……. no estate agents please.

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