Coogan, 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 .