Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyA model for other revolutionaries worldwide, Michael Collins (1891-1922) took center stage in Irish history after the Easter Rebellion of 1916. This definitive biography by the former editor of the daily Irish Press traces the political trajectory of the ``Big Fellow,'' as the handsome charismatic Collins was known. As the key figure in the Irish Republican Army's war of independence of 1919-1921, Collins focused on intelligence and counterintelligence activities, using ruthless efficiency to destroy the British secret service network in Dublin. He led the Irish delegation in negotiating the treaty with Great Britain that brought southern Ireland commonwealth recognition. But his failure to wrest full republic status in the negotiations tore the revolutionary movement asunder; angered and disappointed dissidents rallied around Eamon DeValera on a path that led to bitter civil war. While in his native Cork hoping to reconcile with anti-treaty former comrades, Collins was killed by a partisan. Although firmly rooted in facts, Coogan's stirring, frankly biased (i.e., anti-DeValera) study also deals in rumor: Was Collins in New York, disguised as a priest, in 1914? Was Parnell deputy Tim Healy a British mole as early as 1882? Photos. Author tour. (Nov.)
Library JournalCoogan, an old hand in writing on modern Ireland ( Ireland Since the Rising , LJ 6/1/66), has given us a sympathetic, perceptive biography of Michael Collins. Drawing on an impressive array of manuscript and printed sources, he brings alive the checkered, controversial career of a man who played a key role in founding the Irish Republican Army, served as its first commander-in-chief, and helped to create the Republic of Ireland. Coogan offers one of the finest treatments of this watershed in British history. His study is essential for all collections supporting British studies.-- Jim Casada, Winthrop Coll . , Rock Hill, S . C .
- Rinehart, Roberts Publishers, Inc.
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