The Real Michael Collins

Book - 2006
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Few people in history have been as mythologized as Michael Collins. Before his death at the age of 31, 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. Drawing on previously unknown sources, historian Hart explores Collins's life and asks what made him such an extraordinary and complex person.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2006
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780670031474
Branch Call Number: 941.59 Collins Hart
Characteristics: xxi, 485 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Real Michael Collins


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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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