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How to Stage a Military Coup: From Planning to Execution Paperback – March 26, 2009
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About the Author
David Hebditch is a writer and documentary filmmaker. He lives in Britain.
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Top Customer Reviews
Clearly from the title alone this is NOT the sort of book that should be required reading for defence force personnel.
But Hebditch and Connor's book is far from an endorsement of illegal activities by defence forces but rather a highly informative guide to the evil practice of coups written in a surprisingly entertaining format.
Taking advantage of a fictional narrative introducing each chapter, about what appears to be British special forces launching a coup in the UK, and Hebditch's ironic writing style the reader is treated to the equivalent of a university education on coups without hardly noticing it.
Throughout the book Ken Connor makes many observations from his own personal experience as the longest serving member of the British Special Air Service, 23 years that put him up close with the realities of military coups.
The book explores the history of the modern coup, there were 14 coups or coup attempts in 2004 alone, and looks at why and how they happen.
Its does so by referring to the human experience of these coups, not high-blown academic interpretation, and still retains a certain dark humour.
Ultimately the book is a work of military history and illuminates this rarely talked about unsavoury element of the military experience that is fortunately outside the modern history of English speaking nations.
However with many soldiers serving overseas from western countries understanding military coups is vital not only to protect our own force but also to promote respect for legitimate government in our allied forces.Read more ›
Firstly, this book is not entirely a guide on how to stage a military coup, which is what the cover untruthfully displays. It is partially a fictional story, partially an historical survey of military coups, and finally (the desired information I sought) a guide to staging military coups using some scholarly discourse and innovative ideas. Unfortunately, the latter steadily declines as the book progresses and the historical survey gains a severely biased political undertone.
It becomes increasingly evident at least one of the authors is a staunch opponent of 20th century US and/or UK foreign policy. As this negative mood surfaces between the lines, the book focuses less on the coups and more on the negative qualities of its participants. For instance, and I quote, "In the 1970 presidential elections, the voters responded to this scary stuff by electing Allende by a majority that George W. Bush would have died for."
Another example being: "And travel agents describe the islands as one of the most beautiful places on earth. So, what was the problem? Well, it seems that the United States determined that the Seychelles lay in an area of strategic interest. Hold on, you say, wasn't that in the Pacific? Actually, it was anywhere America wanted it to be."
In all honesty, spare us your personal political annotations; they are irrelevant.Read more ›
There are some funny episodes such as Captain Strasser's accidently causing the government to flee because he headed to the capital of Sierre Leone to pick up the back pay for his troops certainly stands out.
I'd say that if some second hand seller is selling a used copy for a dollar or so, then it's not a bad read, for those interested in the anecdotes. Just don't expect to learn very much.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
(Note: This review is specific to the PARCHMENT version.)
Time is short (date night with Martha), so I'll throw out my quick hits:
- Author's... Read more
"How to Stage a Military Coup" tries to be entertaining, informative and satirical. It fails on all three points.
"Motivation and Massage." For a chapter title. Read more
I am not exactly sure why most people expect this book to teach them them how to actually perform a coup, or why (are all the reviewers Comorian generals?). Read morePublished on April 8, 2013 by Piergiorgio Lambertini Scollo
I bought this book expecting a update of Coup De Etat: A Practical Handbook. It could have been that, but the author was unable to make up his mind between that, a tell-all of... Read morePublished on March 31, 2013 by Salashin
A slight and populist book. If you really were trying stage a coup, you who would be much better off with Edward Luttwak's Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook.Published on March 10, 2013 by Dr Garry
There is a lot less theory than expected from the title, and a lot more of short snippets of stories that don't actually tell you much if anything.Published on December 11, 2012 by Brian G Jacobs