Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook

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Overview

The coup is the most frequently attempted method of changing government, and the most successful. Coup d’État outlines the mechanism of the coup and analyzes the conditions—political, military, and social, that gives rise to it. In doing so, the book sheds much light on societies where power does indeed grow out of the barrel of a gun and the role of law is a concept little understood.
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Editorial Reviews

New Yorker
This short book is…wicked, truthful, and entertaining. The author, after outlining a step-by-step procedure for bringing about a coup, analyzes modern (post–Second World War) coups, and points out why some succeeded and others failed.
Virginia Quarterly Review
Coup d'État demonstrates that scholarly analysis can be good social science and at the same time fun to read. It is nontechnical in approach and informal in style… Moreover, Edward Luttwak's familiarity with the basic concepts and problems of political science is evident throughout. He is seldom superficial and never trivial in his treatment of his subject. The result is a book of value to everyone interested in the sudden changes of government that occur so frequently in many parts of the world and also curious as to why they so often seem to result in more of the same… We can all have the satisfaction of understanding the strategies and techniques employed, and we can enjoy learning them from this lucid and witty book.
Times Literary Supplement
An extraordinarily competent and well-written work, displaying very wide knowledge of the ways in which coups, both successful and unsuccessful, have actually been organized.
New Yorker
This short book is...wicked, truthful, and entertaining. The author, after outlining a step-by-step procedure for bringing about a coup, analyzes modern (post-Second World War) coups, and points out why some succeeded and others failed.
Virginia Quarterly Review
Coup d'État demonstrates that scholarly analysis can be good social science and at the same time fun to read. It is nontechnical in approach and informal in style...Moreover, Edward Luttwak's familiarity with the basic concepts and problems of political science is evident throughout. He is seldom superficial and never trivial in his treatment of his subject. The result is a book of value to everyone interested in the sudden changes of government that occur so frequently in many parts of the world and also curious as to why they so often seem to result in more of the same...We can all have the satisfaction of understanding the strategies and techniques employed, and we can enjoy learning them from this lucid and witty book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674175471
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1979
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,251,577
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward N. Luttwak is a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
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Table of Contents

  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Foreword [Walter Liqueur]
  • Preface to the First Edition
  • Preface to the 1979 Edition
  • 1. What Is the Coup d’État?
  • 2. When Is the Coup d’État Possible?
  • 3. The Stratgey of the Coup d’État
  • 4. The Planning of the Coup d’État
  • 5. The Execution of the Coup d’État
  • Appendix A. The Economics of Repression
  • Appendix B. Tactical Aspects of the Coup d’État
  • Appendix C. Statistics
  • Table 1. Economic Development and the Coup d’État, 1945–78
  • Table 2. Basic List of Coups and Attempted Coups, 1945–78
  • Table 3. The Efficiency of the Coup d’État, 1945–64
  • Table 4. The Frequency of the Coup d’État
  • Index

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