A splendid biography about one of the most important leaders in the process of Ireland's independence. As the other books of T.P.Coogan, it reflects a lot of research of a professional writer who is specialised in the history of Ireland in the 20th century. The account reads fluently, also for foreigners, sometimes bearing the character of a thrilling non-fiction novel. Readers, who have watched the movie of Neil Jordan first, will find that the motion-picture scenario is almost completely based on this title with some small differences, obviously inserted or altered for reasons of screen effect. One point surprising me is the covering of the Civil War after the signing of the Treaty: there is no chapter in this title dedicated especially to the Civil War, rather are the elements of this conflict spread evenly over the last chapters. It looks like T.P.Coogan replaced this with the chapter about Northern Ireland, just before "mouth of flowers", wherein the policy of Michael Collins and the Free State government towards the northern Six Counties is emphasized. I have the impression this was done deliberately and that the Northern Ireland issue and it's Troubles is the pet subject of T.P.Coogan (see e.g. other titles of the same author, as "the Troubles" or "the IRA"...). Personally, I would have expected an elaborate account on this sensitive subject (in contradistinction to the absence of a detailed account on the Civil War, an extensive description and discussion of the (Guerilla) War against the British and the British Campaign in Ireland appears in the former part of the book, which is indeed a very chilling experience). This might be a possible new title of the author in the future. At the end a short discussion is given on the circumstances of Michael Collins death and the alleged assassin(s). A short touch is made on one of the famous cover-up stories. Coogan penetrates here without too many details, because this kind of investigations rather belongs in the world of (sensational) "who-done-it" documentaries. Very interesting is the speculation the author makes in the last chapter "honouring the dead" about what would have happened if Michael Collins would not have been assassinated but would have lived during the following years. It is Coogan's opinion that Ireland would have prospered more quickly, and that on top of that, most probably, it would have been an united country now without the separation of the North. This title is also a jumping board to other titles of the same author. Several subjects which are treated briefly in this book are the title of other works of T.P.Coogan. People who want to have a good insight in the background of the struggle of Ireland for it's independence can rely on this writer. A must for concerned readers.