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Seven Days in May Mass Market Paperback – Import, 1963

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Mass Market Paperback, Import, 1963
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books; First Thus edition (1963)
  • ASIN: B0000CLN2U
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,954,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Bravo Charles W. Bailey II {1929 - 2012}!
Mickey Grossman
The right wing politicians who oppose the president in the novel are right out of today's headlines.
I had seen the movie before reading the book.
g.m. in TX

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brian Melendez on December 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A coup d'etat in the United States? A visionary pacifist President gets a disarmament treaty ratified, over the military's opposition, and is about to begin implementing it despite widespread public apprehension and disapproval. Some top military and congressional leaders, led by the charismatic general who chairs the Joint Chiefs of Staff, join forces in taking advantage of the President's political weakness--but what are they planning, and how far will they go? The general's aide begins connecting certain ominous clues, suspects the worst, and shares his fears with the President. Then the battle is joined: the President and a small inner circle must not only figure out whether there is a conspiracy but, if there is one, must neutralize it--all before a blow that might fall at any time, all without provoking the conspirators into premature action, and all without falling prey to a paranoia that will itself furnish the pretext for bringing down the President even if there never was any conspiracy.
The writing is tight and dramatic. "Seven Days in May" was adapted to the big screen in a 1964 film starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster, and again thirty years later in a 1994 made-for-television movie starring Forrest Tucker. Both versions do justice to the novel.
If you enjoy "Seven Days in May," you may also enjoy "Night of Camp David," also by Fletcher Knebel. "Night of Camp David" largely follows the same formula as "Seven Days in May," but the issue is presidential incapacity rather than a coup d'etat.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Seven Days in May" is an authentic classic political thriller of the first rank. Authors Baily and Knebel present a scenario in which an unpopular President is targeted by America's top military brass for an actual military takeover of the government. The story is complex, but vividly presented with an authenticity that is both disturbing and plausible. The reader is brought to understand that it could happen here, and the story suggests how such a scenario could come about in these United States.
The novel is well-written and fast-paced, never drags, and absolutely holds the reader's interest throughout. The amazing thing about the story is that every bit of it hangs together without straining the reader's sense of credulity. The novel features excellent writing, and the authors weave the plot together towards a conclusion that is startling and believable (no spoiler here).
This was a big budget movie in the 1960s featuring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster (available on DVD) and I would very much like to see a reprint of the novel become available, as my often-read paperback copy has long since fallen to pieces from frequent readings.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At the height of the Cold War, an American President more concerned with conscience than popularity, negotiates a disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. His approval rating plummets. But what is worse, his actions convince the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, that the President has become a danger to national security and must be stopped. Marine Col. "Jiggs" Casey, Director of the Joint Chiefs, discovers the plot, and it is up to him and a handful of others to prevent the unthinkable: a military coup to overthrow the US Government. This book is magnificently written and -- as evidenced by its second screen adaptation in 1994 -- is just as relevant today as it was 34 years ago. A cautionary tale for anyone who assumes American democracy immune to palace revolution.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J.J. McCullough on August 26, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book on a long airplane trip, and the story was so intense it kept me glued from lift off to land down.
As the other reviewers have summarized, the plot centers around "Seven days in May" as the President of the United States and his closest aides secretly scramble to thwart a coup being planned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The book is very fast paced, and has no "main" character. The point of view shifts from one character to another, often on opposite ends of the country, with lots of action in between. There are numerous twists and turns, but the book is never predictable or cliched.
It's also a very well-researched story, and anyone well versed in National Security and the Pentagon will be impressed at the two authors' attention to detail.
I was really amazed how un-dated this book is, despite being written in the early 60's. The authors wisely never reveal the year the story takes place, but subtle hints indicate it takes place sometime in the 70's (Kennedy is the last "real" President mentioned). When you hear the logic of some of the coup-planners you have to wonder wheter or not such a scheme has ever been secretly plotted in the past- or wheter a similar one will ever be plotted in the future. Complacency in the stability of ANY democracy can be dangerous, and the events in "Seven Days in May" certainly proves that.
This book highlights the independence that exists between the military and civilian branches of the US government, and the careful dance that the president must do to appease both sides. When it comes to matters of national security, the book raises the important question of who is ultimately responsible. Should the constitution always be respected, even when the safety of the nation is in danger?
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