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The Man Who Made Ireland Paperback – 1 Sep 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Roberts Rinehart Publishers; Reissue edition (1 Sept. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570980756
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570980756
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,132,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Synopsis

Traces the life of the man who negotiated for Irish independence and describes the political background of the times.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book is difficult but not tedious. It's a pity that Tim Coogan didn't supply a little background on Irish History, just to put the events he describes in context. Without that, it becomes a little difficult if you have no idea who or what he is referring to. When he gets into the main subject of this history, one tends to get lost in a maze of characters, and their various alliegences. Nevertheless it offers a very complete treatment of the Anglo-Irish War, the negotiation of the Treaty, and the subsequent Irish Civil War. The ugliness and brutality of the war with the British is upsetting, and may well leave you feeling very angry. Finally let me say that Michael Collins emerges from this story as an extrordinary young man of enormous ability in so many ways, who with a little help from his friends did manage to get the British out of Ireland, or at least out of the twenty-six counties. The absurdity of it all, is that he was killed by his own people when he was little more than thirty years old.
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Format: Paperback
When Tim Pat Coogan says Michael Collins is 'the man who made Ireland' he is not exaggerating. It was his energetic leadership which made independence from English tyranny possible for Ireland. He was the first , indeed the originator of, the urban guerrila. His 'Twelve Apostles' made possible the wrecking of the intelligence system of the occupying forces in Ireland. Tim Pat Coogan is quite right to point out the character assasination which started after Michael Collins's death in 1922. A slow process by which people tried to blacken his name. But thankfully, that can never happen, and his name will live forever amongst those who fought against countries who tried to occupy and rule others by force and despotism.
Michael Collins not only freed his motherland from English ocupation but also set a shinning example to others under English occupation elsewhere that it was possible to defy and defeat the English. Napoleon wasn't invinsible, neither were the English. Tim Pat Coogan notes at the end of his book that De Valera said 'In the fullness of time history will record the true greatness of Michael Collins and it will be at my expense.' One gets the feeling this prophecy might start fulfilling itself one day.
There were others who fought equally hard and passionately for Ireland, Tom Barry, Liam Tobin,Tom Cullen, General Sean MacEoin to name but a few. But Michael Collins stood out amongst them as their leader. Which brings us back to Tim Pat Coogan's original words "Michael Collins: the man who made Ireland"
This is indeed the definitive biography of Michael Collins. He died before the question of Northern Ireland could be resolved. His support of the Northern IRA indicates that he believed in eventual reunification of the Republic.
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By A Customer on 19 Mar. 1998
Format: Paperback
The movie never made it to theaters in my small northern Wisconsin city. But, thankfully, the book - and one copy of the video - finally made its way up here. I read the book, I rented the video and I began to understand Michael Collins. Thank you, Tim Pat Coogan. Thank you, Neil Jordan and Liam Neeson (no one else could have done it so well). I now understand the fight for Ireland so much better . . .
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who knows the story of Michael Collins and who has seen the movie or read this book knows that people have a hard time showing what is truely a fascinating story. A slow-paced storyline and the tendency to over-examined inconsequential facts while under-examing crucial events(like his meeting with Churchill and his cronies) leaves the reading saying, "So What". Too bad becuase it is one hell of a story. PS- The movie was dreadfully boring.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Writer gets in the way 6 Aug. 2011
By wilburforce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written by an adamant supporter of its subject. According to the author, everything Mr. Collins did had a magic to it. I had great difficulty relating to the subject as a fellow human being who made a lasting impression on the face of Modern Ireland. Because the writer was so passionate about Michael Collins, it was impossible for me to get a good picture of him as a man. So I was unable to read more than 40 pages of the book. I think his was an incredible life which took place at a critical time in Ireland's history. But rather than being historical or biographical, this reads more like an endorsement of the greatness of Michael Collins. It doesn't present the facts and then let the reader come to conclusions. It is well informed, and might make a good companion to a biography, but doesn't stand alone as an objective piece of writing.
4.0 out of 5 stars The New Charismatic Leader ...? 3 Oct. 2000
By Toby Joyce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Irish Nationalism needs charismatic leaders, men who stand like the Founding Fathers in American history (and myth?). De Valera has been Found Out as a Catholic compromiser and (apparently worse) as someone who quietly sacrificed the North to keep a Catholic-Gaelic state in the South (read John Bowman's classic "De Valera and the Ulster Question"). Collins is the obvious next choice. Better still, Collins can stand as an open "Peace Process" man who believed that the 1921 Treaty gave the 'Freedom to achieve Freedom". What better logic to sell the Good Friday Agreement to recalcitrant republicans ? Though the book was published long before the Agreement, the Peace Process was in the air since the early nineties, and Coogan is well-known for republican sympathies. Even better, Collins conspired with the Northern republicans to subvert the Northern state - so can be sold (again) as an ambiguous figure who did not "betray the North". De Valera even suspected that this reversal of the historical verdict would come to pass, though his traducing Collins' memory does him little credit. Was Collins "the greatest man in Irish history". I think the title of this edition completely overblows Collins' role, if fact if anyone made Ireland in the sense meant it was William T. Cosgrave, the first Priomh-Aire (Prime Minister)and then De Valera himself. T.Ryle Dwyer's description of Collins as the 'man who won the war' is far more accurate - but war-winners are not always the best state-makers. Collins' advantages for a heroic pose are manifold - he died before the really nasty decisions had to be taken, and before the cleanup after the Civil War set the tone of the Irish Free State/ Republic of Ireland for generations. Coogan attempts to give the answers, mostly favourable to Collins. But somehow I wonder if Ireland hadn't got the best of Collins before he died. He seems to me to be almost addicted to conspiracy and back-door deals, not exactly the man to build up a democratic state. His nearest European equivalent is Pilsudski of Poland, a dedicated patriot and great soldier, but who eventually became a military dictator. For all that, read this book and judge for yourselves. Read also Coogan's "De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow" which is a companion to this volume.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man who showed the world tyranny can be defeated 10 Oct. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When Tim Pat Coogan says Michael Collins is 'the man who made Ireland' he is not exaggerating. It was his energetic leadership which made independence from English tyranny possible for Ireland. He was the first , indeed the originator of, the urban guerrila. His 'Twelve Apostles' made possible the wrecking of the intelligence system of the occupying forces in Ireland. Tim Pat Coogan is quite right to point out the character assasination which started after Michael Collins's death in 1922. A slow process by which people tried to blacken his name. But thankfully, that can never happen, and his name will live forever amongst those who fought against countries who tried to occupy and rule others by force and despotism.
Michael Collins not only freed his motherland from English ocupation but also set a shinning example to others under English occupation elsewhere that it was possible to defy and defeat the English. Napoleon wasn't invinsible, neither were the English. Tim Pat Coogan notes at the end of his book that De Valera said 'In the fullness of time history will record the true greatness of Michael Collins and it will be at my expense.' One gets the feeling this prophecy might start fulfilling itself one day.
There were others who fought equally hard and passionately for Ireland, Tom Barry, Liam Tobin,Tom Cullen, General Sean MacEoin to name but a few. But Michael Collins stood out amongst them as their leader. Which brings us back to Tim Pat Coogan's original words "Michael Collins: the man who made Ireland"
This is indeed the definitive biography of Michael Collins. He died before the question of Northern Ireland could be resolved. His support of the Northern IRA indicates that he believed in eventual reunification of the Republic. In many ways he was ahead of his time.
Definitely a book worth reading and keeping , not only for those interested in Irish history but also for those interested in historical figures whose work and integerity of principles serve as an inspiration to all.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History of the Man Who Couldn't Be Caught 1 Oct. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As often noted, this is the definitive biography of Collins, Ireland's legendary rebel leader. It is by far the most detailed and best researched of the numerous works on Collins and it gives such a vivid picture of his complex personality that you feel you really know him by the end of it. All the facts of his life are there--the youthful years; the years in London working as a postal clerk and apprentice in investment houses; the participation in the 1916 rebellion and subsequent imprisonment, when he first rose to prominance in rebel circles; the harrowing years "on the run" as the mastermind behind the guerilla war of independence; and finally the years of the treaty negotiations and the civil war which led to his death. In addition, the descriptions of Collins' character, including flaws, are fascinating in showing a man of extraordinary intelligence, great charisma for both men and women, an almost obsessive love of his country and its people, great wit and humor, unrepentant ruthlessness in dealing with those spies and informants who threatened the cause, and a tremendous compassion and regard for his comrades, even when they became his adversaries in the civil war. For anyone who is interested in Ireland and its past, for anyone who wants to read about a man whose real life exploits were more riveting than fiction, this biography of the rough country boy with a limited formal education who became the most wanted man in the British Empire and then held his own in treaty negotiations with the most formidable statesmen in that Empire, is a must-read.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now You Can Meet the Real Michael Collins! 11 Jun. 2000
By Mimereader2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book has almost got it all. My first edition has a stunning brown and white photo on the cover showing Collins in his Free State uniform, and even the unusual weight and dimensions of the book suggests the emotionally moving experience within. This is a complete biography which begins with Collins' childhood, and it follows him all the way to where he is ruthlessly assassinated in Cork by political opponents. They were mostly liberals and communists who were not supported by the people when they advocated another more radical revolution. There's an especially generous collection of photographs to enhance the text here as well. Until this book was published, there just wasn't a complete or accurate biography on Collins available anywhere, though he is certainly one of the most interesting people in Irish history. This injustice was eventually corrected when the Irish book industry revitalized after many years of repression from Irish politicians such as Eamon de Valera. Such opponents knew their own deeds were shallow in comparison to those of Collins and his supporters. They preferred the public not to read the inside story of how they abandoned Collins when he negotiated the treaty with the British government that formed today's Irish Republic, and they are widely suspected of contributing to his assassination in Cork (de Valera was in the immediate area). Then came this landmark book in 1992 by Coogan, followed by the 1996 film by Neil Jordan, and Irish-Americans suddenly realized what they had been cheated of. In one of the supreme ironies of history, however, Collins is occasionally hijacked by the Marxists of Sinn Fein when they shake down the Irish in America. They claim that they have the moral authority to finish what Collins could not. Unfortunately, from so far away, some Irish Americans have difficulty discerning the difference between Collins' ideas about uniting the Irish - by developing trust between the Irish Nationalist community and the Irish of British descent community - and his opponents ideas which advocate class warfare and fuel sectarian tensions. There's an unrelated television commercial in the US which could provide a good one liner to fit this unlikely situation perfectly: "How is that possible?" Yes, it can be verified that the Collins people greatly appreciated the contribution that James Connolly made to military tactics, but they are also on record as being Ireland's most popular opposition to the Marxism that Connolly and others advocated. Collins and those close to him believed firmly in a free enterprise system shaped by a more traditional and gentle Irish socialism. In Ireland the average political enthusiast knows who's who. This is the reason there is no mention of Gerry Adams when Coogan finishes with his chapter "Honoring the Dead?" During the Irish Civil War Collins' people risked their lives to stop left wing subversion. In today's Irish Republic the party which Collins' supporters formed after his death lives on; that's Fine Gael, and its opposition to Marxism is still very much alive. For anyone who is still confused or doubtful, one of the following books can fill you in on the aggressively anti-Communist nature of the Collins camp: First there's The Blueshirts and Irish Politics by Michael Cronin, printed in Dublin, Ireland by Four Courts Press 1997; then there's an older but better book, The Blueshirts by Maurice Manning which was printed in Dublin, Ireland by Gill and Macmillan in 1970; and even Yeats, Ireland and Fascism by Elizabeth Cullingford which was published in New York, New York by N.Y. University Press in1981
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