This book should provide a valuable source of information for all those interested in the economic and agricultural history of Ireland from the nineteenth century to the present day, from governmental level down to the smallest working farmer. This approach to the study of the volume and structure of Irish Agricultural production is historical: Irish Agriculture being examined at successive periods with a view to establishing the important factors determining its evolution.
The author has carried out intensive researches into State Papers and Records, government and newspaper reports, private papers, old farm accounts, and other valuable resource material, much of which has hitherto been untapped. The results of these researches, whether the reader agrees with the authors conclusions or not, should prove of immense interest not only to specialists in economic and agricultural subjects, but to all students of Irish history, particularly of the famine period. The new light which these researches throw on many aspects of the 'Great Hunger' should cause future historians to re-examine many of the accepted theories and hypothesis associated with that tragic phase of Irish history.
But the value of a book such as this is not merely national or local. The evidence produced and the relevant conclusions which emerge from this detailed study of agricultural economy in a small newly-emancipated country with a largely rural population should prove of special interest and provide a stimulating guide to economists and agriculturalists of all the developing countries of the world, whether in Africa, Asia or South America, whose problems of economic expansion in the face of competition form the great established powers are similar, in many respects, to those of Ireland.