The way I came to purchase this book was because I had read an article about how a former diplomat/spy was trying to convince a wealthy Saudi Arabian magnate to attempt a coup d'etat against the unstable government. He wrote that he had just finished reading a handbook much like Edward Luttwak's text and was toying with the idea. Coupled with the fact that I had always been fascinated with the coup d'etat as a political tool, I sought out what I believed to be the definitive work on this subject matter, which was this book.
Actually, this is the second time I purchased this book. The first time I purchased it, I had done so because I was planning on going on a trip to Southeast Asia soon. Part of my travels included Thailand, and I had thought it would be neat to bring this book along, considering there had been a coup just over a year ago in 2014. Ironically, my friend accidentally left my book on a bus travelling through central Thailand, so I ordered it again once I got back. At first, it was unavailable for quite some time, but after a couple months, it finally shipped. I'm assuming that the publisher only prints on demand- I noticed that the cover and ink on the pages was wonderfully sharp and glossy, which led me to believe that it had been printed recently.
This book is incredibly comprehensive in the way it describes the background and methodology for attempting a coup. It is very practically written such that someone might realistically apply the principles to a real-life situation. There are bountiful examples that are all well explained. Initially, I was concerned that many of the examples would be obscure scenarios that would be stretched to fit the author's interpretations. Instead, the author's writing was easily convincing and it came off as a logical, intelligible, and strictly defined. There were numerous figures and diagrams that made it clear to understand. My only issues with this book is that it was a little vague and not as in-depth as I had liked it to be. You can also tell that the book is slightly dated (it was written in the late 1970s), but fortunately there are more updated revisions.
Overall, it was a fascinating read, and I would recommend it to anyone that is curious on this subject. I look forward to pulling it off my bookshelf in the future to enjoy it again.
- Paperback: 215 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press (1 July 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674175476
- ISBN-13: 978-0674175471
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.3 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 259 g
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