Friday 23 November 2012

Atlas of the Great Irish Famine wins Irish book award

Click to visit publisher's website
The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine last night won the Best Irish Published Book of the Year Award.

This outstanding work is edited by John Crowley, William J. Smyth and Mike Murphy from the Geography Department, University College Cork.

Despite its geographical signposting and marvellous maps, it isn't really an atlas at all. It's a serious academic study of a historical event – arguably THE most pivotal historical event in Ireland's history – beautifully put together and engagingly presented.

With its 728 pages, 200 maps and 400 illustrations (not to mention 60 contributors), it's a mighty tome, both literally and figuratively, and has been picking up excellent reviews. Here's just one:

This Atlas offers a powerful, unflinching and coherent understanding of the Irish Famine as the defining event in Irish history. It balances sweeping survey with minute details, while always attending to the surprising diversity of this small island in the mid nineteenth century. Its unparalleled assemblage of new maps, old images and extensive documentation offers a brilliant teaching aid for the history of Ireland and of the Irish diaspora. Firmly rooted in recent research, saturated in meticulous scholarship, and interdisciplinary in the best sense, it is unafraid to draw the necessary trenchant conclusions. Its broad synthesis offers the best overview we have ever had of this traumatic and defining episode. Professor Kevin Whelan, Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre, Dublin.

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards celebrate Irish writing. The full name of the award won by The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine was International Education Services Best Irish Published Book of the Year. Full list of winners.

Published by Cork University Press, The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine costs €59.00. Click image above to visit Cork University Press online shop.