- Hardcover: 341 pages
- Publisher: Harper & Row (1962)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060124350
- ISBN-13: 978-0060124359
- Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 56 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Seven Days in May Hardcover – 1962
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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.( Amazon Customer)
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Gender situations very much reflect the era book was written. Some may find them offensive today.
The author basically pretends the CIA did not exist, yet it was likely the CIA rather than the DOD that toppled Kennedy.
I have to wonder. Were the authors trying to warn Kennedy that something big was afoot and he needed to watch out? Or did they simply reflect the belief implicitly conveyed by the authors that the peace movement of the time was a very real and realistically-oriented process being thwarted by Defense insiders that Kennedy already knew about?
It sounds a warning still valid today that modern democracy is always threatened by the chance concurrence of hard times, social paranoia, and compliant media cooperation with a particularly effective demagogue. Unfortunately, three of those four elements are in place right now in the US.
(The movie screenplay by Rod Serling conveys these thoughts more effectively in some ways.)
The book propounds that a few loyal citizens and a wise, democratically predisposed President can beat these forces. Can they today? Would they? Do such people even exist any more?
This book, written during that same time period as the movie FailSafe, when Cold War fears were upppermost, so that US citizens were building bomb shelters in their back yards and stocking them with provisions, captures the tension around this nationwide fear of atomic war. Excellently written, this apolitical novel portrays the drama of a coup attempt against the US presidency because of the furor caused by a nuclear disarmament treaty.
This compelling page-turner, highly recommended, was made into an excellent movie of the same name, starring Burt Lancaster, also highly recommended.
A great listen - well acted, picking different highlights than the movies, and explaining a lot more (because you can't just SEE what's happening) and a different feel from a lot of radio drama because of the live audience response.
Worth the money and worth the 2 hours to listen.
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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