I have spent the past couple of months working through Michael Collins: a biography by Tim Pat Coogan. Coogan was the editor of the Irish Press, which was the broadsheet newspaper of Irish political party Fianna Fail and was right at the heart of the power hierarchy in Ireland. That gave Coogan the credibility and access to the kind of people who could shed light on the complex characters, arrangements, accommodations and tragedy that surrounded the Irish struggle for independence that Collins was instrumental in fighting for
Collins is portrayed as a tough, pragmatic, clever man in a ruthless and treacherous world. I found the story interesting because it provided me with a more rounded understanding of a key time in my country’s history. Neil Jordan’s film version of Michael Collins‘ life borrowed heavily from this book, however a feature film could not fully capture the complex twists and turns that lead to the founding of the Free State.
I would recommend Tim Pat Coogan’s book as a diligent and honest work, but if you are looking for something that is accessible stick to Tom Clancy.