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Three Famines
Written by:
Tom Keneally 
Read by:
Peter Byrne 
Unabridged CD Audio Book 
Number of CDs:
9 hours 16 minutes 
June 01 2011 
Available Date:
June 28 2011 
Age Category:
Non-fiction; Disasters; History; Human Rights 
ABC Audio 
Bolinda price
AUD$ 18.95
AUD$ 18.95

"A powerful non-fiction work that reminds us that hunger has been - and remains - among the greatest of the world’s injustices."
The Australian

"I am sure Tom Keneally is incapable of writing a dull book"
The Sydney Morning Herald

From the bestselling author of Schindler's List.

This is the story of three terrible famines. The first is an Gorta Mór, the great hunger of Ireland, which began in 1846. The second is the deadly famine that struck Bengal in 1943. The third is the Ethiopian famine, which first sprung up in lethal form in the 1970s under Emperor Haile Selassie and then reappeared under the brutal dictator Mengistu in the 1980s. Keneally visited Eritrea in 1984 to see the effects of this grave event. Tom Keneally shares these three shocking histories with his customary penetrating wisdom, and he presents a controversial theory in his utterly compelling narrative: in all three famines, ideology, mindsets of governments, racial preconceptions and administrative incompetence were, ultimately, more lethal than the initiating blights, the loss of potatoes or rice or the grain named teff.

Keneally, who gave us SCHINDLER’S LIST, scores again with a portrait of three of the worst famines to strike the world since the middle of the nineteenth century—events that took place in Ireland, Bengal, and Ethiopia (twice). Peter Byrne’s simple, declarative delivery is at once clinical in its objectivity and heartrending in its passion. He makes us feel the pain and suffering of the victims he reveals. His narration flows smoothly among the three events, weaving them into a continuous tapestry of tragedy. Byrne’s Australian accent helps to enhance the international aspects of this odyssey across three continents. His timing and pacing perfectly complement the underlying histories. Students of government and social justice will appreciate the telling indictments of the regimes responsible for all three tragedies.
AudioFile Magazine