Articles and speeches by Michael Collins. Foreword by Tim Pat Coogan. In these essays and speeches Michael Collins spellled out his vision for the future of Ireland, as well as his analysis of its past. Some of them are written in the anguish of a civil war which he struggled so hard to avoid, and in which he saw his country torn apart while seeking to establish and defend democracy, liberty and stability. Michael Collins' overall vision is still inspiring, he sees the necessity for open trade with overseas markets, for investment and management, and for putting the "national economy on a sound footing" as a priority. Noted historian Tim Pat Coogan provides an introduction to the man and his times, giving an insight into the times that prompted him to write his articles and speeches. Michael Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance and MP for Cork South in the first D�il of 1919. He was Director of Intelligence for the IRA and a member of the Irish delegation during the Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations. During the Civil War Michael Collins was Chairman of the Provisional Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Free State Army. He was shot and killed in August 1922 during the Irish Civil War.
Collins (1890-1922) is generally recognized as the architect of the Irish Republic. Between 1920 and 1922 he would wipe out the entire British Secret Service in Ireland (while having a �10,000 bounty on his head), finance the new Irish state, negotiate the treaty leading to the eventual establishment of the Republic, and finally be assassinated himself during the Irish Civil War. The inventor of modern guerrilla warfare, his methods have been studied by leaders such as Mao Tse-Tung and former Israeli prime minister Yitzakh Shamir. In this collection of notes Collins is straightforward in his assessments: he chides Eamon de Valera for abandoning the new Irish Free State and justifies his severe actions in putting down resistance at the Four Courts in the beginning of the Civil War. His terrorism notwithstanding, Collins comes across as a true democrat, a man who believes in law and the Celtic tradition. He states bluntly that he "did not sign the Treaty [with Britain] under duress" and in a spirited defense of the Treaty makes the point that the Irish Free State enjoyed the same dominion status as Canada, which was also an independent nation. His comments on North Ireland are blunt: "union is certain. The only question for North-East Ulster is-How soon?" There are also some interesting deflating comments about Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson. Coogan, Collins's biographer, has written a focused introduction. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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April 01, 1996
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