Often through the words of the passengers themselves, this book documents the frequently tragic story of the mass of people forced to emigrate from Ireland during the potato famine of 1846-1851. The famine was the defining event in modern Irish history: more than a million people died of starvation and disease and another million left their homeland, traveling from all parts of Ireland to board ships bound for the United States and Canada. Sailing under conditions that were rarely monitored, many were denied the food and water promised with the price of their ticket. Many succumbed to disease, and those who survived faced a bittersweet aftermath as unwelcome immigrants in America. The Famine Ships tells a story of courage and determination that is an incredible chapter in American immigrant history and a crucial moment in the Irish-American experience.