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The Plot to Seize the White House: The…
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The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking True Story of the… (1973)

by Jules Archer

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The Shocking True story
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Amazing story and the economic and social conditions are eerily like our current situation. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
This book concerns a little known, but potentially catastrophic, incident in American history when an apparent fascist plot was uncovered, led by prominent US industrialists, to overthrow president Franklin Roosevelt in 1933-34. The plot was to have been led by retired Marine General Smedley Butler, who, however, was a patriot and a supporter of FDR and his progressive New Deal policies, and refused to be involved, instead causing the alleged plot to be investigated by the newly formed House Unamerican Activities Committee (which was at this stage a more balanced investigative body and not the crude right wing one it later became under Senator Joseph McCarthy). Nevertheless, it isn't clear to what extent there was a genuine plot, as opposed to arrogant boasting and flirting with the far right on the part of conservative businessmen, and later historians seem to have generally believed that there probably was not a lot of substance behind it. Butler believed it was genuine, though, and deserves credit for acting on that belief. He sounds like an interesting character and this book is largely a biography of this man, with the best part of half of the text devoted to his military career starting in the Spanish American War of 1898, chronicling his growing belief that he and his fellow marines were being used, and sacrificed, in order to protect private US economic interests, rather than the country's genuine defence needs. This stemmed from his Quaker upbringing, which still influenced him despite his successful career in the armed forces. After his exposure of the would be plot, so strong grew his hostility to the US being involved in any future war overseas, that he came to oppose FDR's attempts to temper US isolationism in light of the growing threat of fascism in Europe in the late 1930s. By the end, his ultra pacifism comes across as rather naive and simplistic, given the existential threat that Nazism posed to liberal democracy. His early death in 1940 just before the Fall of France prevented his seeing his beloved country join the war effort against the Axis, but one wonders whether he would have tempered that pacifism in light of events as the war unfolded. The book is interesting, but rather repetitive and perhaps a bit sensationalist in places, though as it was written in the early 1970s, the author was able to interview surviving participants in the events, including one of the two senators who investigated the plot. ( )
  john257hopper | Feb 18, 2017 |
As a book it's not perfect, but the story is so mind blowing and fascinating that it should be required reading. I thought this must be some sort of crazy conspiracy theory story when I first heard of it, but it appears to be true. How could something this major be true and virtually unknown to most people? Because the politics of the time are the politics of now, and are still sensitive material, so most people just bury their head in the sand. ( )
1 vote bongo_x | Apr 6, 2013 |
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This is the true story of a remarkable American who, during the early New Deal years, was sought by wealthy plotters in the United States to lead a putsch to overthrow the government and establish an American Fascist dictatorship.

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Skyhorse Publishing

2 editions of this book were published by Skyhorse Publishing.

Editions: 1602390363, 1632203588

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