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The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking TRUE Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow F.D.R.

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Many people might not know that in 1933, a group of wealthy industrialists—working closely with groups like the K.K.K. and the American Liberty League—planned to overthrow the U.S. government and run FDR out of office in a fascist coup. Readers will learn of their plan to turn unhappy war veterans into American “brown shirts,” depose F.D.R., and stop the New Deal. They ask Many people might not know that in 1933, a group of wealthy industrialists—working closely with groups like the K.K.K. and the American Liberty League—planned to overthrow the U.S. government and run FDR out of office in a fascist coup. Readers will learn of their plan to turn unhappy war veterans into American “brown shirts,” depose F.D.R., and stop the New Deal. They asked Medal of Honor recipient and Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler to work with them and become the “first American Caesar.” Fortunately, Butler was a true patriot. Instead of working for the fascist coup, he revealed the plot to journalists and to Congress. Archer writes a compelling account of a ploy that would have turned FDR into fascist puppet, threatened American democracy and changed the course of history. This book not only reveals the truth behind this shocking episode in history, but also tells the story of the man whose courage and bravery prevented it from happening.


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Many people might not know that in 1933, a group of wealthy industrialists—working closely with groups like the K.K.K. and the American Liberty League—planned to overthrow the U.S. government and run FDR out of office in a fascist coup. Readers will learn of their plan to turn unhappy war veterans into American “brown shirts,” depose F.D.R., and stop the New Deal. They ask Many people might not know that in 1933, a group of wealthy industrialists—working closely with groups like the K.K.K. and the American Liberty League—planned to overthrow the U.S. government and run FDR out of office in a fascist coup. Readers will learn of their plan to turn unhappy war veterans into American “brown shirts,” depose F.D.R., and stop the New Deal. They asked Medal of Honor recipient and Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler to work with them and become the “first American Caesar.” Fortunately, Butler was a true patriot. Instead of working for the fascist coup, he revealed the plot to journalists and to Congress. Archer writes a compelling account of a ploy that would have turned FDR into fascist puppet, threatened American democracy and changed the course of history. This book not only reveals the truth behind this shocking episode in history, but also tells the story of the man whose courage and bravery prevented it from happening.

30 review for The Plot to Seize the White House: The Shocking TRUE Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow F.D.R.

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lee Downey

    Looking around, you have to ask if the plot was actually stopped or just delayed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    P N

    The topic is extremely important. The writing, itself, isn't perfect. This "lost" history is shocking and should become part of our public's school history studies. The topic is extremely important. The writing, itself, isn't perfect. This "lost" history is shocking and should become part of our public's school history studies.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary Catherine Pace

    “War is a racket,” claimed US Marine Retired Major General Smedley Butler: “‘Largely a matter of money,’ he told the veterans who had gathered to hear him. ‘Bankers lend money to foreign countries and when they cannot repay the President sends Marines to get it. I know—I’ve been in eleven of these expeditions.’” I had never heard of Major General Smedley Butler before reading this book. He was the kind of military man who made headlines for heroism, dedicated his life to his country, and, in the “War is a racket,” claimed US Marine Retired Major General Smedley Butler: “‘Largely a matter of money,’ he told the veterans who had gathered to hear him. ‘Bankers lend money to foreign countries and when they cannot repay the President sends Marines to get it. I know—I’ve been in eleven of these expeditions.’” I had never heard of Major General Smedley Butler before reading this book. He was the kind of military man who made headlines for heroism, dedicated his life to his country, and, in the highly credible thesis of this book, saved our country from becoming a military dictatorship in a Fascist plot to replace FDR in 1934. He was a Quaker who volunteered as a Marine during the Spanish American war, and served in every major conflict through World War I. A recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, He was a hero to the veterans of the Great War, for his unyielding integrity, military valor and competence, and outspoken support of the veterans’ promised bonus that was refused by the Hoover administration. A lifelong Republican, he switched parties to campaign for FDR. In 1934, he was approached by “veterans” who offered him lots of money for speeches at veterans’ events that would oppose FDR’s plan to leave the gold standard. He refused, for any price, but strung them along to discover what they were up to, eventually learning of a plot to overturn FDR’s second term and replace the President with a military dictator. Butler called an investigative journalist to help him ferret out the strange story, and eventually gave the information to Congressional authorities. Because FDR was very unpopular with wealthy and influential people, the news that these same moneyed titans ( Morgan, DuPont, Rockefeller, etc.) were involved in the plot was denied and the press gleefully attacked the messenger. The retired Major General’s testimony was altered, omitting much supporting detail, as well as other evidence, while Butler’s anti-war and anti-fascist comments were both popular and very unpopular, depending on the audience. He claimed that “Soldiers never leave the country except to protect moneyed interests.” In the press, he was vilified, but his honor and reputation held firm with the veterans and those who favored FDR’s New Deal and efforts to keep the US out of another war. The book suffers from it’s determined mission to rescue a truly interesting person from historic oblivion. Half biography, followed by transcripts of the hearing about the conspiracy Butler uncovered, the remainder of the book states the author’s view that Butler was a man of courage and integrity who changed the course of history, and deserved better treatment from history. Butler’s anti-war stance became very unpopular after his death in June, 1940, before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Sometimes the author lapses into near hagiography, but he makes many important observations, especially about the fact that before and after WWII, anti-fascists were often dismissed and deemed to be Communists or Communist sympathizers, by wealthy industrialists and other pro-war, moneyed and influential powers. Pacifists were confused with the pro-fascists who wished to stop American intervention in Europe as the war started, so this story was not one that would be fairly told for many years. The author notes that, without any mention of Butler, a highly-acclaimed popular post-war fictional book and film, Seven Days in May, was probably based on this actual conspiracy. I enjoyed the biography of Butler’s remarkable life and service, as well as the mysterious conspiracy, but the book is too much the servant of the author’s desire to right history’s slight to a man who deserves honor. In making his case, the writing suffers from the author’s need to right a wrong, rather than to produce a strong narrative. The transcripts are important primary sources, but the author’s storytelling, with transcripts as an addendum to the narration, would have improved the reading experience.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sakash

    A history of dirty politics What a great read about how our military and veterans have been misused by our government and industrial interests under the guise of national security. Then as now, our elected officials were/are nothing puppets of/for the industrialist interests that lobby them and support there campaigns. It was dirty then and even dirtier today.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Pucci

    Shades of today Historical revealings of unknown events of The 1930's.... Interesting parallels to current "fake news" and biased reporting against sitting President..... Becomes a bit redundant .... Did not need to be so long to accomplish it's purposes... Shades of today Historical revealings of unknown events of The 1930's.... Interesting parallels to current "fake news" and biased reporting against sitting President..... Becomes a bit redundant .... Did not need to be so long to accomplish it's purposes...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Gunier

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Back in 1933, there was a plot by right wing industrialists to replace FDR with a dictator. Perhaps the only reason, we don't read about it in our history is because it was not executed because of one patriot. The group picked the wrong man to lead them! He was a true believer in democracy and the American way! Instead retired Gen Smedley Butler exposed the plot. This is his story. I had no prior knowledge of this episode in our history. I wish the people responsible would have been fully exposed Back in 1933, there was a plot by right wing industrialists to replace FDR with a dictator. Perhaps the only reason, we don't read about it in our history is because it was not executed because of one patriot. The group picked the wrong man to lead them! He was a true believer in democracy and the American way! Instead retired Gen Smedley Butler exposed the plot. This is his story. I had no prior knowledge of this episode in our history. I wish the people responsible would have been fully exposed and subjected to prosecution. But instead again, money talks. This makes me want to learn more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Darana Lobaugh

    History and Biography I gave the book only a two because it gave the part about the plot but a big portion of the book consisted of a Biography of Butler. I enjoyed finding out about the plot,it was something I never knew but the biogrAphy too long although he was a great man with much honor and bravery. I think men would enjoy this more than women especially those liking military history

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard R., Martin

    The best thing about this book was the brief biography of Gen. Smedley Butler. He won two Congressional Medals of Honor and should have had a third but at the time of the Boxer Rebellion officers could not receive the award, so while the enlisted men that accompanied him on rescue mission received the Medals he did not. While the plot to overthrow FDR was a forgotten piece of history and should be more widely known, the author repeated the plot details 3 or 4 times in the book. It got boring aft The best thing about this book was the brief biography of Gen. Smedley Butler. He won two Congressional Medals of Honor and should have had a third but at the time of the Boxer Rebellion officers could not receive the award, so while the enlisted men that accompanied him on rescue mission received the Medals he did not. While the plot to overthrow FDR was a forgotten piece of history and should be more widely known, the author repeated the plot details 3 or 4 times in the book. It got boring after the first go round.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Walter Burton

    This should be required reading in American History classes. It is a remarkable story of a man dedicated to America’s democratic principles who literally changes the course of history. Very well written story based on extensive research & interviews. It is a chilling reminder, particularly in today’s times just how fragile our Democratic institutions are in divisive times.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Abbie Herrick

    Read This Book!!!!! This is an important part of history left out of most school books that is repeating itself today! The industrial fascists keep trying to take power and then erase it from history so nobody will remember the last time. This book should be a part of every kids history project to get an A!

  11. 5 out of 5

    John Rogers

    SEIZING WHITE HOUSE Interesting never-before-heard U.S. history presented in believable fashion. Could have been told in a more dramatic way, writing style-wise. Read at the end of Trump’s term of office as President makes me wonder how many times our democracy’s survival has hung by only a single slender strand of thread.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    A Riveting Read A little known episode of American history is deftly revealed. Butler is revealed to be a crafty charismatic figure who outwitted the plutocrats of his day, who were obsessed with destroying Roosevelt and installing the 'right' kind of government and oh yeah, preserved democracy in a desperate hour. Great stuff! A Riveting Read A little known episode of American history is deftly revealed. Butler is revealed to be a crafty charismatic figure who outwitted the plutocrats of his day, who were obsessed with destroying Roosevelt and installing the 'right' kind of government and oh yeah, preserved democracy in a desperate hour. Great stuff!

  13. 4 out of 5

    The Real Boba Fett

    I’m very unclear why this isn’t wider known but, after the last few years, I guess this is a rhetorical question. The premise of the book is that Butler helped “stop” the plot but more truthfully maybe only delayed it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    randy

    this book told about a almost forgotten plot that could have changed history. i found learning about the details of the plot interesting. the book started to drag when it gave a biography sketch of smedley but it was worth the read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul Southland

    Venerated war hero, spurned political martyr Winner Of two Medals of Honor Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC single handedly foils fascist plot to seize control of the US government. Congress investigates and sweeps under rug.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robert J.

    A story that should be way better known Smedley Butler was an American hero that we were lucky to have. We needed someone like him to keep us out of Vietnam, Iraq, and who knows how many other places. Will we ever learn?

  17. 5 out of 5

    J.

    In these times of trump, the topic is certainly important and timely. The book could have cut out about 1/3 of superfluous information. Important topic but uneven execution.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Wow wall street plot? Wholey cowz, look at who was behind the plot, then ask yourself, did they succeed after this time? What a great read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Very informational about something that very few, including myself, knew about.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Worthington

    A very interesting book about a plot to overthrow F.D.R using a retired Marine General.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mike Speer

    Good book. Enjoyed reading it. Repetitive in spots but not without reasons. Inept plotters . Reminds one of the media today. Read m It.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Billee Hoornbeek

    As one who lived through that era. The only access to news was newspaper and radio. We, the struggling had no idea what went on in DC. I find the revaluations interesting and astounding. My parents and friends discussed the US and world situation is they saw it - no one had a clue. An educated, informed public is necessary for the continuation of a democracy A dictatorship is never more than an ignorant vote away. I do recommend it to those who realize that those ignorant of their history are bound As one who lived through that era. The only access to news was newspaper and radio. We, the struggling had no idea what went on in DC. I find the revaluations interesting and astounding. My parents and friends discussed the US and world situation is they saw it - no one had a clue. An educated, informed public is necessary for the continuation of a democracy A dictatorship is never more than an ignorant vote away. I do recommend it to those who realize that those ignorant of their history are bound to repeat it

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Almost unknown part of history It surprised me that I knew nothing about this event in our history. After all, Roosevelt was president when my parents were young. Surely they would have mentioned it. That is unless they never heard about it either. The overthrow of our government, and conversion to a fascist state should have been headline news, but somehow it wasn't. This book was informative and interesting. Unlike many of the books today, it didn't make my heart race or inspire me me to keep re Almost unknown part of history It surprised me that I knew nothing about this event in our history. After all, Roosevelt was president when my parents were young. Surely they would have mentioned it. That is unless they never heard about it either. The overthrow of our government, and conversion to a fascist state should have been headline news, but somehow it wasn't. This book was informative and interesting. Unlike many of the books today, it didn't make my heart race or inspire me me to keep reading all night. At times the subject matter is slow, but it told the story of one of our greatest generals, General Smedley Butler,Jr. one of the most patriotic generals and Marines', you'll ever read about. He was the man that broke the news and revealed the plot to overthrow the government. I read this book because I wanted to know the story. You can read the book; you can read about General Butler on Wikipedia; or you can find a copy of the movie "Seven Days in May" which was based on this book and the intended putsch. But I think it's important you know the story of one of the greatest Marines that ever lived.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sekhar N Banerjee

    Waste of time and money It is one of the worst books, I have read in recent times. If anyone is interested about the " Business Plot", a better way is to browse the Internet. Waste of time and money It is one of the worst books, I have read in recent times. If anyone is interested about the " Business Plot", a better way is to browse the Internet.

  25. 4 out of 5

    William

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eugene Szabo

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan Mccann

  29. 4 out of 5

    Darcy C. Plymire

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donald Hays

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