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Few leaders in history have been as mythologized as Michael Collins. Before his death at 31, he had fought in the Easter Rising, organized the IRA and out-spied British intelligence, negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty, and run the first independent government in Ireland. Peter Hart’s groundbreaking biography restores humanity to this mythical figure. Drawing on previously unknown sources, delving into Collins’s pre-revolutionary past, and assessing the methodsand the costsof his rise to power, Mick reveals a man of often ruthless ambition, more politician than soldier, whose friendships went no farther than his interests. A work as thrilling as it is authoritative.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.47(w) x 8.37(h) x 1.16(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The anonymous review posted in 2006 is an assessment with which I concur, having recently read this book. One has the impression that the author has little sympathy with Collins or his aims, and even his admiration, when expressed, is distinctly tepid. Still it is very well researched and does offer some new insight into Collins's activities. The discussion of his financial abilities and accomplishments, and how he helped the revolution in this way, is valuable.
Peter Hart's bilgraphy of the 'real' Michael Collins is very interesting reading and certainly cannot be accused of hero worship, although Hart seems to admire many of Collins' attributes. Unfortunately, it seems to be aimed at bursting the bubble of Collins' recently re-acquired status as a great Irish icon and to skew the facts in that direction. The research into Collins' background certainly is extensive and the picture of him as a volatile, charismatic and powerful leader is consistent with other more balanced biographies (Tim Pat Coogan's in particular). However, much is made of Collins as a 'ruthless' politician rather than a soldier or statesman and herein I think Hart's apparent bias gets in the way. I am sure he has read Collins' own writings about his hopes and concerns for his country and his letters to various people, including his fiancee, Kitty Kiernan, but Hart does not seem to see, or to want to see, the larger man reflected therein. However, if the reader has some background in the Irish history of the time (the final fight for independence from the British and the civil war that followed it), this biography will provide some new insights to be balanced with more even-handed biographies by other authors.