The Real Michael Collins

Book - 2006
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A major new biography of the most gifted, ruthless, and powerful leader in modern Irish history

Few people in history have been as mythologized as Michael Collins. Before his death at the age of thirtyone, Collins fought in the Easter Rising, organized the I.R.A., outspied British intelligence, negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty, and ran the first independent government of Ireland. To this day, millions revere him as the father of modern Ireland. Yet Collins was first and foremost a man who sought power and exercised it ruthlessly. More politician than soldier, he surrounded himself with followers loyal only to him. And his death left behind a troubled legacy: an I.R.A. he could not control, a Northern Ireland problem he did not solve, and a civil war he could not prevent.

In Mick , acclaimed historian Peter Hart explores Collins's life and asks what made him such an extraordinary and complex person. Drawing on previously unknown sources, Mick is the first biography to investigate Collins's life before he became a revolutionary and the first to take a critical look at his rise to power and its consequences. A fascinating portrayal of one of the most remarkable men of the twentieth century, Mick will be eagerly embraced by readers of Irish history and anyone interested in the lives of great leaders.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2006.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780670031474
Branch Call Number: 941.7082 HAR
Characteristics: xxi, 485 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm.


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Sep 30, 2007

Wow - I can really appreciate the amount of scholarly work that went into this work, but I just couldn't get through it the first time around. The Globe and Mail review is correct that the work is "meticulous, doggedly factual and minutely detailed" and for me, that was the problem. I just couldn't cope with reading who was at every single meeting and where they met - I wanted more about what it meant! However, the review also says "Hart's account is so carefully considered, so detailed and so nuanced, that a final delight will land on the reader only after the book is finished." So I might have to try again at another time.

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