Mick: The Real Michael Collins is a breathless ride through the life of the legendary and in some ways mythical man who organized the Irish Republican Army, beat the British intelligence agency at its own game, and ran the original independent Irish government, all before his untimely and somewhat grisly death at the tender age of thirty-one.
The author chronicles Collinsí life from his less than impressive education to his participation in the Easter Rising, for which he was arrested, on to his leading his own spy ring and hit squad. These things he justified because they were obstacles in the way of his vision for the country of Ireland.
Peter Hart has shed light on the fascinating yet controversial Collins. Were it not for his obvious attention to historical research, Mick could easily be thought to have come from a fervid imagination. The story moves at a fast pace, appropriate since Collins lived at a frenetic pace himself. Collinsí interaction with other historical figures and Hartís ability to set scenes so real that readers feel they are present in the era make this an easy to read and even easier to love book.