All Standing

The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, The Legendary Irish Famine Ship

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About The Book

The enthralling, true tale of a celebrated “coffin ship” that ran between Ireland and America in the 1840s: “By turns harrowing and heartwarming…All Standing salvages the treasure of a history lost at sea” (J.C. Hallman, author of The Devil Is a Gentleman).

More than one million immigrants fled the Irish famine for North America—and more than one hundred thousand of them perished aboard the “coffin ships” that crossed the Atlantic. But one small ship never lost a passenger.

All Standing recounts the remarkable tale of the Jeanie Johnston and her ingenious crew, whose eleven voyages are the stuff of legend. Why did these individuals succeed while so many others failed? And what new lives in America were the ship’s passengers seeking?

In this deeply researched and powerfully told story, acclaimed author Kathryn Miles re-creates life aboard this amazing vessel, richly depicting the bravery and defiance of its shipwright, captain, and doctor—and one Irish family’s search for the American dream.

About The Author
Photograph by Candace Kuchinski

Kathryn Miles is a professor of environmental writing at Unity College. She is the author of Adventures With Ari and dozens of articles that have appeared in publications, including Alimentum, Best American Essays, Ecotone, Flyway, Meatpaper, and Terrain. She lives—and sails—in Belfast, Maine.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 2014)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451610154

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Raves and Reviews

"An enchanting and dedicated historian, Kathryn Miles takes us on a journey from lore to science and back again. By turns harrowing and heartwarming, All Standing salvages the treasure of a history lost at sea." -- J.C. Hallman, author of The Devil is a Gentleman and Wm & H'ry and In Utopia

All Standing illuminates a dire period in history I knew little about. Through Kathryn Miles’ crisp writing and meticulous research, I gained understanding and insight into this humanitarian crisis, but also was felt as if I was a passenger on the harrowing trans-Atlantic crossing of the Jeanie Johnston. Bravo to the author for bringing the story to life and illuminating the best and worst of the people involved.” -- Michael Tougias, author of A Storm Too Soon, Fatal Forecast, and Overboard!

"Well-researched and engagingly written, Kathryn Miles' All Standing is full of compelling characters--including the Jeanie Johnston herself. The ship becomes a beacon of hope in an age Miles paints with vigor as beset by famine, disease, political callousness and cruelty." --Ginger Strand, author of Killer on the Road and Inventing Niagara

"Kathryn Miles illuminates the true horror of the Irish Potato Famine in the way that only well written and thoroughly researched narrative history can, presenting the story in every instance through the eyes of the people who lived it, making it all the more palpable, the suffering and the glimmers of hope all the more immediate. This is a very well done book about one of the most brutal and shameful episodes in the past three hundred years of Western history." --James L. Nelson, author of With Fire and Sword: The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution

"Kathryn Miles illuminates the true horror of the Irish Potato Famine in the way that only well written and thoroughly researched narrative history can, presenting the story in every instance through the eyes of the people who lived it, making it all the more palpable, the suffering and the glimmers of hope all the more immediate. This is a very well done book about one of the most brutal and shameful episodes in the past three hundred years of Western history." --James L. Nelson, author of With Fire and Sword: The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution

“This is the story of the miraculous Jeanie Johnston, a ship that defied all odds crossing the Atlantic--but Kathryn Miles delves much deeper, weaving through it the larger stories of deadly sea-faring, rampant epidemic disease, and the disastrous, mass displacement of the Irish. With expert attention to detail and seamless writing, Miles takes you aboard the 'coffin ships' and into the lives of the shipbuilders, captains, maritime physicians, Irish refugees and those remarkable individuals who managed to survive.” ---- Molly Caldwell Crosby, author of The Great Pearl Heist and The American Plague

"The author’s solid research and use of newly available material exposes the truth of the Potato Famine, the barbaric policies that exacerbated it and the incredible will of the Irish people." --Kirkus Reviews

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