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Mick: The Real Michael Collins

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  149 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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 u ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 2005)
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Greg
Apr 30, 2013 Greg rated it liked it
Michael Collins has become a mythological figure. He rose to prominence, was among the leading cadre of politicians that established an independent Irish Republic in the twentieth century. To be sure, there are facts, but those facts are often obscured by the hagiographical biographies that have been written since his death. With a noble purpose in mind, Peter Hart seeks in this book to set the record straight. Hart’s introduction is brilliant: “First and always in considering the life of Michae ...more
Matt S
Jun 08, 2016 Matt S rated it liked it
I appreciate this book for its research. Two issues I have are both with Hart. First, it appears to be his intent to reduce Collins' position in history by using factual research then injecting question into situations alluded to by the 'evidence.' This served to cheapen the discussion by saying things along the lines of, 'could he have been gay? He spent a lot of time with men, you draw your own conclusion.' I don't think that has a place in biography. Finally, Hart makes his most harsh judgmen ...more
Mark
Aug 30, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are few people in modern Irish history who loom larger than Michael Collins, "The Big Fellow" who more than any other individual is credited with winning independence for Ireland. In a matter of a few short years he emerged from the ranks of the Republican movement to become one of the key figures in the struggle against British rule. His early death as a result of an ambush in the subsequent civil war gave him the aura of a lost leader, laden with the possibilities of what might have been ...more
Mark
Aug 11, 2009 Mark rated it it was ok
Those interested in a purely stoical and factual approach to the subject of Michael Collins' legacy in the IRB/IRA are strongly cautioned to read the introduction to this book in the store before purchasing it.

What is evident from the very outset is that the author, Peter Hart, seeks to discount on some levels the lasting effect of Collins and his work on the Irish republican movement. While his intentions are at first objective glance, not entirely pernicious, the constant injection of his opin
...more
Iosephus Bibliothecarius
Jul 08, 2013 Iosephus Bibliothecarius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007
I finally finished Mick: The Real Michael Collins by Peter Hart which I began almost exactly one year ago. My attraction to this book was my obvious admiration of Collins and the opportunity to read a new biography (there have been many before). Although I was excited, I was also wary because this book was supposed to take a not-very-flattering look at Collins' life. I found this to be true as Hart attempted to look through the praise and hero-worship that has accompanied Collins since his untim ...more
Doug
Sep 07, 2009 Doug rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A new, critical biography of Michael Collins is long overdue. This isn't it. This is one of the most poorly written books I have read in a long time. It is laden with innuendo and speculation. In a typical passage, Hart proceeds to say there is no information about Collins and prostitution and then make the case that almost assuredly used them.

"We have very little to speculate with on the subject of Collins and what he might or might not have got up to on the streets of London or Dublin, but we
...more
Nicholas
Oct 02, 2014 Nicholas rated it really liked it
This being the first Michael Collins biography that I have read, I cannot attest to its superiority over its predecessors, but I can say that this is one well written and thorough look at the life and actions of Michael Collins.

The author attempts to look at "Mick" as a man, and not some legendary character out of Irish myth. A man has faults, a man is not perfect, a man tries his best and sometimes comes up short, and I feel that Peter Hart did a wonderful job of showing these imperfect charact
...more
The Scrivener's Quill
The book doesn't grab me. It makes assumptions that I know a heap of Irish history' the author makes historical references that he assumes are general knowledge. It also wasn't moving fast enough for me to keep it up. The book cover is great, but it needs to move faster.
Rich
Jul 28, 2009 Rich rated it it was ok
Tough read - it was interesting to learn about the less-glorified side of Michael Collins and the book provides the reader with what appears to be a very accurate description of Collins, but it got very bogged down by specific details.
Jaime
Jan 29, 2010 Jaime rated it liked it
The best parts of this book were when Michael Collins got angry at meetings and stormed off...on his bicycle. This is actually a very easy to read biography of a fascinating man.
Dianna LeFevre
Aug 04, 2009 Dianna LeFevre rated it liked it
A bit dry, but very balanced. Would have liked a bit more detail about some of Collins' activities while working for home rule, but on the whole, a good introduction.
Nancy
May 16, 2011 Nancy added it
Nothing earth-shattering or revealing in this book about Collins that hasn't already been printed.
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Peter Hart was a Canadian revisionist historian, specialising in modern Irish history.

Hart was born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland. He studied for one year at the Memorial University of Newfoundland before moving to study at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated from there with an Honours BA degree. Subsequently, Hart completed a Masters degree in International Relations at
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