I’d like to point out, though we don’t need a reminder at all, that as scholars, artists, and intellectuals it is our duty, our life-long duty to learn. We, as thinkers and creators, have a duty to learn as much as we can about the depths and distances of all areas of knowledge known to man. Were we to shy away from areas of thought from fear, then we would betray our gifts as thinking men. But, there are times, there are areas of thought, there are themes that we might care to shelter in the privacy of our lives.
I’m an old guy recently, so I’m told, and for many long decades I have been aware that librarians are under constant pressure/s from law enforcement agents and agencies to keep and produce lists of library patrons’ withdrawals. For over 50 years now, the FBI, for example, has been trying to make librarians turn over lists of books that, for example, I [or those found to be interested parties] might have borrowed. If the FBI had seen some of the titles, [for example] I’ve read, yes, indeed, I might have seemed suspicious to the FBI [the so-called law enforcement].
And, knowing this to be so, I might well have hidden my researches, or perhaps abandoned my pursuit of valuable knowledge from fear of the police. Had I done so as an 18 year old; I might not be able today to recommend a book that [many] African intellectuals might find valuable in [their] understanding of the social history of the continent and it’s political movements. The book I have in mind, [captioned above] is one that sheds light on African post-colonial history. It is also one that, by its very title, is likely to excite the interest of the FBI, possibly.
I am sending the Liberian Listener a link to a book that I hope will give your readers some hours of enjoyment as a literary work and one too that will offer insights into the history of many African nations. Given the nature of politics, one must be discrete in this world when reading such a title, given the heavy hand the police and govts. Who knows how many people could easily misinterpret the independent scholar’s interest in such a work?
This book is worth knowing. It is valuable to us all as students of human history and human nature. But, it really does not pay to let others know one is reading it. Purchase book here…on amazon.com
Dag Walker, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coup d’État astonished readers when it first appeared in 1968 because it showed, step by step, how governments could be overthrown. Translated into sixteen languages, it has inspired anti-coup precautions by regimes around the world. In addition to these detailed instructions, Edward Luttwak’s revised handbook offers an altogether new way of looking at political power—one that considers, for example, the vulnerability to coups of even the most stable democracies in the event of prolonged economic distress.
The world has changed dramatically in the past half century, but not the essence of the coup d’état. It still requires the secret recruitment of military officers who command the loyalty of units well placed to seize important headquarters and key hubs in the capital city. The support of the armed forces as a whole is needed only in the aftermath, to avoid countercoups. And mass support is largely irrelevant, although passive acceptance is essential. To ensure it, violence must be kept to a minimum. The ideal coup is swift and bloodless. Very violent coups rarely succeed, and if they trigger a bloody civil war they fail utterly.
Luttwak identifies conditions that make countries vulnerable to a coup, and he outlines the necessary stages of planning, from recruitment of coconspirators to postcoup promises of progress and stability. But much more broadly, his investigation of coups—updated for the twenty-first century—uncovers important truths about the nature of political power.
–Harvard university Press