"Thomas Keneally recounts history with the uncanny skill of a great novelist whose only interest is to lay bare the human heart in all its hope and pain. As he was able to do in Schindler's List, he shows us in The Great Shame a people despised and rejected to the point of death, who in the face of all their sorrows manage to keep their souls. This story of oppression, famine, and emigration--a principal chapter in the story of man's inhumanity to man--becomes in Keneally's hands an act of resurrection; Irishmen and Irishwomen of a century and a half ago live once more within the pages of this book."
--Thomas Cahill, author of How the Irish Saved Civilization
In the nineteenth century, Ireland lost half of its population to famine, emigration to the United States and Canada, and the forced transportation of convicts to Australia. The forebears of Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's List, were victims of that tragedy, and in The Great Shame Keneally has written an astonishing, monumental work that tells the full story of the Irish diaspora with the narrative grip and flair of a great novel. Based on unique research among little-known sources, this masterly book surveys eighty years of Irish history through the eyes of political prisoners--including Keneally's ancestors--who left Ireland in chains and eventually found glory, in one form or another, in Australia and America.
We meet William Smith O'Brien, leader of an uprising at the height of the Irish Famine, who rose from solitary confinement in Australia to become the Mandela of his age; Thomas Francis Meagher, whose escape from Australian captivity led to a glittering American career as an orator, a Union general, and governor of Montana; John Mitchel, who became a Confederate newspaper reporter, gave two of his sons to the Southern cause, was imprisoned with Jefferson Davis--and returned to Ireland to become mayor of Tipperary; and John Boyle O'Reilly, who fled a life sentence in Australia to become one of nineteenth-century America's leading literary lights.
Through the lives of many such men and women--famous and obscure, some heroes and some fools (most a little of both), all of them stubborn, acutely sensitive, and devastatingly charming--we become immersed in the Irish experience and its astonishing history. From Ireland to Canada and the United States to the bush towns of Australia, we are plunged into stories of tragedy, survival, and triumph. All are vividly portrayed in Keneally's spellbinding prose, as he reveals the enormous influence the exiled Irish have had on the English-speaking world.
"A terrible and personal saga, history delivered with a scholar's density of detail but with the individualizing power of a multi-talented novelist."
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The Booker Prize-winning Schindler's List (on which Steven Spielberg based his Oscar-winning film) demonstrated that Thomas Keneally could make history as compelling as any novel. His latest book, The Great Shame, expands upon the achievement of his earlier fiction. This is more than just the story of the Keneally family tree, transported from Ireland to Australia in the 19th-century. It is the story of how Irish men and women came to be dispersed all over the world, and what they made of their lives in their new homes. It is the epic history of a whole people.
The Great Shame is hypnotically readable, partly because Keneally weaves his many narrative strands so expertly and touches his story with many moments of beautiful writing, but also because it is all, even at its most extraordinary, completely true. The result is astonishingly vivid. What The Great Shame most resembles is a classic 19th-century novel: Dickens, say, or George Eliot. Readers avidly follow Keneally's characters through their successes and their trials, until the very last sentence in the book when, like a master from the classic age of the novel, Keneally pays tribute to "the piquant blood and potent ghosts of the characters to whom we now bid goodbye." --Adam RobertsFrom the Back Cover:
"A brave work whose narrative threads connect the personal, the political and the historical, leaving us with vivid impressions of 'Irish ghosts' in both triumph and tragedy.... It is important to retrieve these immigrant memories because they help us recover and define our identity."
--Tom Hayden, The Los Angeles Times
"The Great Shame is an event, a broad-shouldered integration of personal and national history. As one would expect from this author, the writing is both flavorful and straightforward. Mr. Keneally never brandishes his accounts for their dramatic or cinematic effect. In the style of the best historians, he allows the intrinsic power of the tales he tells and the people who populate his pages to draw the reader into a fully elaborated universe.... The Great Shame puts a fully composed human face on political events and in doing so rises to a high level of humanistic achievement."
--Richard Bernstein, New York Times
"Keneally breathes life and warmth into his Irish heroes...The Great Shame is an epic tale of courage and ingenuity."
--Jay P. Dolan, New York Times Book Review
"Let a master like Thomas Keneally take on this dramatic and poignant chapter in history and it becomes something vivid and heartbreaking and very much alive...The Great Shame is a work of remarkable optimism: a story that reminds us how often human achievement is measured not in conquest or in riches but in simple survival against the odds."
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Random House. Book Condition: Very Good. 1998. 1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo .Covers loose. Famine in Ireland. An Gorta Mor. Ireland's Great Hunger. 19th Century Ireland. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # KEX0276561
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2703260041
Book Description Random House. Book Condition: Very Good. 1998. 1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo .Covers loose. Famine in Ireland. An Gorta Mor. Ireland's Great Hunger. 19th Century Ireland. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # KEX0276561
Book Description Random House, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Sent within 24 hours. Expedited UK delivery available. Condition: Very Good. May show some slight signs of wear. Roll to spine. Spine creased. Bookseller Inventory # BBI1818641
Book Description Random House, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0091837367
Book Description London: BCA, 1998. 0091837367, 1998. 9.5" x 6". Hardback with dust wrapper. xii + 732 pages. Some black + white photographs and illustrations. 2 small tears at the top of wrapper spine, otherwise a very nice clean copy. near fine/ VG. Bookseller Inventory # 5154
Book Description Random House, Sydney, 1998. Softcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. First Edition. XX, 732 pp., includes acknowledgements, notes, list of abbreviations, bibliography, and index. 24 pages of black and white photographs, map of Ireland in the nineteenth century map of Perth and its environs, and early settlements of New South Wales with detail of Van Diemen's land. Illustrated paperback binding. In the nineteenth century, the Irish population was halved. The Great Shame, a remarkable work of non-fiction, traces the three causes of this depletion: the famine; the emigrations; and the transportations to Australia. Based on unique research among little-used sources, this masterly book covers 80 years of Irish history, told through the intimate lens of political prisoners -- some of them ancestors of the Keneally family -- who served time as convicts in Australia. the previous owner has used whiteout over their name on the very first page, but I suppose as compensation, has protected the binding with clear adhesive plastic. The edges of the pages have done the usual trick of browning on the edges. No other damage to report. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. A very clean secondhand copy, with no damage. Please refer to accompanying picture (s). Quantity Available: 1. Category: History; Australia; ISBN: 0091837367. ISBN/EAN: 9780091837365. Inventory No: 0243398. Postage within Australia will be reduced for this book. Bookseller Inventory # 0243398
Book Description Random House, Australia, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. heavy book check postage withus. Bookseller Inventory # 28497
Book Description Random House, Sydney, 1999. Softcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: No Dust Jacket. Photographic (illustrator). First Australian Paperback Edition. XX, 732 pages, list of illustrations, preface, notes on the text, maps, acknowledgements, notes, bibliography and index. The text is illustrated with four inserts, of eight pages each, of contemporary black-and-white illustrations or photographs along with maps of Ireland in the nineteenth century map of Perth and its environs, and early settlements of New South Wales with detail of Van Diemen's land. Photographic cover with gilt, white and purple titles to the front panel and gilt and white titles to the backstrip. In the 19th century the Irish population was halved. The Great Shame, a remarkable work of non-fiction, traces the three causes of this depletion: the famine; the emigrations; and the transportations to Australia. Based on unique research among little-used sources, this masterly book covers 80 years of Irish history, told through the intimate lens of political prisoners -- some of them ancestors of the Keneally family -- who served time as convicts in Australia. Minor creasing to the book corners and browning to the text block edges and light age toning of the internal text. Size: Trade Paperback. Please refer to accompanying picture (s). Illustrator: Photographic. Quantity Available: 1. Category: History; Politics ; 19th Century ; History -- Ireland ; ISBN: 0091837367. ISBN/EAN: 9780091837365. Inventory No: 0110142. Bookseller Inventory # 0110142
Book Description Random House Sydney 1998 First Edition (Aust), 1998. Fine Med 8vo, 732pp, b/w Illusts Fine Hard Cover Keneally traces the causes of the Great famine that beset Ireland in the 1840s. He uses 'the intimate lens' of his convict ancestors to cover 80 years of Irish history and 'the Australia they encountered'. Bookseller Inventory # 003934