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Comment: Publisher: St Martins
Date of Publication: 1991
Binding: hard cover
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Silent Coup Hardcover – May, 1991

3.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Silent Coup sends us on an informative journey back to our national nightmare - the Watergate Era. Startling allegations . . . with documentation." —President Gerald R. Ford, former US President


"I tout the book all the time, and my standard answer to anybody who ever raises the Watergate question with me is read Silent Coup." —H.R. Bob Haldeman, former Nixon Chief of Staff


"Gettlin and Colodny's conclusions bring us as close to what actually happened as we are likely to get for some time. The whole story is almost certainly more unsettling than we imagined . . . . takes the foundation of Hougan's SECRET AGENDA and builds on it." —Prof. Herbert S. Parmet, National Review, Nixon Biographer


"Ought to force a major rethinking of all we knew, or thought we knew, about the Watergate scandal . . . They have illuminated Watergate's darkest corners . . . In fact, Colodny's and Getllin's documentation puts Woodward's and Bernstein's to shame . . . future researchers cannot afford to ignore Colodny's and Gettlin's strong evidence." —Jack Kolbe, Arizona Gazette
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

In 1992, journalist Len Colodny co-wrote with Robert Gettlin Silent Coup: The Removal of a President. He is also the co-author of The Forty Years War, The Rise and Fall of the Neocons from Nixon to Obama.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 507 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition first Printing edition (May 1991)
  • ISBN-10: 0312051573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312051570
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,039,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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"Silent Coup" is an important work of "Watergate Revisionism" that brings the Radford spy ring into the picture. In short, senior Pentagon officials at the Joint Chiefs of Staff level authorised what amounted to an "unofficial" spy operation targeted at the White House. They wanted to keep tabs on Kissinger and his secret diplomacy. Kissinger's moves were shaking the way US foreign policy had been conducted for a generation, the Chiefs believed they were being left out of the loop.

The authors see US national security chiefs as going beyond this illegal, unconstitutional and somewhat amateur snooping on Kissinger to a more sinister, and ultimately successful, effort to remove Nixon, or at least, deflect fall-out from the downfall of an administration already heading for a crash, away from themselves. Central to their thesis are the numerous links between various Watergators and the CIA, a VIP Call Girl ring (itself under CIA influence) used by the DNC and the past relationship between former USN briefing officer Woodward to both Admiral Radford and General Alexander Haig, whom the authors picked as "Deep Throat". The label "coup" however may be somewhat misleading. The authors are not so much talking about a Latin American putsch so much as political jujitsu by Haig and the Joint Chiefs.

Much of this material is discussed by other Watergate revisionists, for example, Jim Hougan in "Secret Agenda", although often framed in a different explanatory narratives. "Silent Coup" to it's credit provides numerous references and attachments as evidence, especially for the Radford spy ring. This isn't always the most enjoyable reading experience.

There are some benefits beyond Watergate revisionism too.
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Format: Hardcover
Watergate is one of those great crimes that changed everything, yet no one seems to know what really happened. "Silent Coup" authors Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin turn the official version upside down and present three of Watergate's supposed good guys in a far less flattering light.

This 1991 conspiracy-minded history posits not one but two crimes, neither one involving President Richard Nixon or usual suspects from other Watergate histories, like John Mitchell or Bob Haldeman. The first, the famous break-in at a Washington D. C. office complex that gave the case its name, was pushed by White House counsel John Dean for entirely personal reasons, namely getting the skinny on a call-girl ring with a connection to his future wife. The second was covering up some more personal spying entirely unrelated to the break-in but threatened with exposure because of the attention Watergate drew, this time involving Nixon's chief of staff Alexander Haig. Like Dean, Haig was adept at covering his tracks, even if it was with the bodies of trusting colleagues like Nixon himself.

Both Dean and Haig are often mentioned in other Watergate accounts as good guys, the former exposing the president's deceit to congressional investigators and the latter loyally guiding Nixon to his eventual, necessary resignation. Both profiles have been burnished with the help of Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter who broke Watergate with colleague Carl Bernstein. In "Silent Coup," Woodward is the third bad egg, a former Navy guy who let Haig, an Army general he knew in the service, play his reportage in exchange for Nixon's scalp.

The authors interviewed over a hundred sources, many of whom give named testimony as to the doings of Dean, Haig, Woodward, et al.
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Format: Hardcover
There were clearly many reasons why Nixon should have resigned from office, but that doesn't mean we know the real story about Watergate. I urge people to take off the partisan blinders and stop viewing our political system through the filter provided by the mainstream media. Stop listening to the bobble-heads on TV and do your own thinking.

This is a story that really has no good guys. There is no one to root for - there are only ambitious, ruthless people pursuing their agendas: Nixon, Haig, Dean, Woodward, Buzhardt, Moorer and the Pentagon who opposed Nixon's détente policies, the Democrats who wanted to remove Nixon for partisan reasons. John Dean and Alexander Haig in particular emerge as true scoundrels. The whole affair reflects badly on our so-called democracy, and especially the mainstream media, who have contented themselves with a comfortable myth for the last 40 years rather than dig for the truth. The Washington Post did its best to lie about the book when it was published, despite the existence of taped interviews of key persons involved. As you read the text, it becomes clear that Mark Felt couldn't have been Deep Throat, unless Felt was one of many sources that together made up this character.

Anyone who thinks that this book was written by Nixon partisans simply hasn't read it. Consider this passage: "This reaction was vintage Richard Nixon. Watergate would become simply another battle in his lifelong war with the Democrats. Floundering in ignorance as to how the affair had begun, and instead of attempting to solve the crime, Nixon was busy calculating how he might use it to strike at his enemies.
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