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  • The Plot to Seize the Whitehouse

  • The Shocking True Story of the Conspiracy to Overthrow FDR
  • By: Jules Archer
  • Narrated by: Ken Maxon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Editor reviews

The Plot to Seize the White House tells the story of how, in 1933, a group of industrialists (including J. P. Morgan) working with the Ku Klux Klan and the American Liberty League, hatched a plan to take over the White House from President Franklin Roosevelt. Had they succeeded world history would have been completely changed.

With novelistic detail, Jules Archer shows how the plan included turning half a million disgruntled veterans into American versions of Nazi "brown shirts" and installing General Smedley Darlington Butler, Medal of Honor recipient, as the leader of a new Fascist government. Archer details Butler’s patriotic decision to reveal the plot to the news media and congress.

Ken Maxon delivers a measured, well-paced performance of this real-life conspiracy.

Summary

Most people will be shocked to learn that in 1933 a cabal of wealthy industrialists - in league with groups like the K.K.K. and the American Liberty League - planned to overthrow the U.S. government in a fascist coup. Their plan was to turn discontented veterans into American "brown shirts," depose F.D.R., and stop the New Deal. They clandestinely asked Medal of Honor recipient and Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler to become the first American Caesar. He, though, was a true patriot and revealed the plot to journalists and to Congress. In a time when a sitting President has invoked national security to circumvent constitutional checks and balances, this episode puts the spotlight on attacks upon our democracy and the individual courage needed to repel them.

©2007 Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Originally published by Hawthorne Books, Inc., New York in 1973. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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  • Wayne Hughes
  • 12-02-13

Good storytelling, poor voice-over

What did you like best about this story?

This opened an era and a sequence of events that I had never read about in depth. I'm a former soldier, son of several generations of soldiers, yet I never knew fully of the cynical way that the military had been used to further business interests in the first part of the twentieth century. I had my suspicions, many of them confirmed by first-hand experience in Viet Nam, but this book made me look at that era of my life, and the current mess in the Mideast, in an entirely different light.

What didn’t you like about Ken Maxon’s performance?

Mr. Maxon is difficult to listen to, principally because of his tendency to pronounce the letter A as "a" rather than "uh," which is commonly accepted in standard pronunciation. If the publisher knew of this rather stilted tendency and approved the work anyway, well so be it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Aaron E. Michel
  • 22-11-20

Issues worth attention

Archer’s book The Plot to Seize the White House was worth the read, but it is missing a lot of inconvenient truths about the role of the Comintern and its national appendages. It also advocates the usual race baiting by communists. Jews were involved with every relevant group, capitalist and socialist alike. It also avoids the mention of the wealthiest capitalist of them all, Rockefeller, who like Rothschild, financed J.P. Morgan.
The book goes into some detail about China, but says it was the evil Chiang Kai-sheck versus the people, when in fact it was a Comintern effort to spread revolution to China. It does not mention the successful penetration of the US government by the Comintern by the Thirties, which Stalin used to implement his strategy of destroying Western society and the two bookends Germany and Japan by setting them at war and prolonging that war. The struggles in the US between soft-gloved socialism of the progressives including Hoover, financed by Rockefeller and his minions, and the more aggressive form of socialism of Roosevelt is overlooked. Socialism does not work. It is all against all.
The book tells the anti-capitalist view of the use of US military to protect American property abroad but says nothing of the benefits to the masses of that capital. For example, Standard Oil began modernizing China in 1907 with the introduction of both kerosene and lamp and stove technology. Any loss of American capital in China in that regard was a diminution of basic needs of the masses of China. No kerosene, no lamps, no stoves, no safe and sanitary living conditions. The loss to Standard Oil by fire would cost Standard Oil millions of dollars and the Chinese people millions of people. The issues of state confiscation are a problem whether it is abroad or at home. Theft is destructive and a dystopia arising out of utopian ideas of socialism. The book ignores the true issues of socialism, much the way Antifa is used to intimidate under cover of fighting fascism and civil rights. The Nazi and Soviet constitutions said all the right things but did not protect individual rights of self-determination. It is was left instead to the ruling elite to make those decisions. To impose one set of preferences on everyone.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-09-20

Unknown history comes alive

This book captures in great detail a fascinating yet overlooked incident of US history. You will never see this mentioned in most school history books.

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  • Frank Donnelly
  • 18-01-20

A Great Work of Non Fiction, Largely A Biography, Than About "The Plot"

This is a very well read audiobook. The book is largely about the life of Smedley Butler, a Marne Corps General. He was approached and asked to lead an unofficial army of veterans to Washington and install alternate individuals into government in an effort to limit the authority of FDR. That part of the story is fascinating and well researched. However it does not represent the bulk of this book.

I did thoroughly enjoy this audiobook and found it very illuminating. I learned a great deal. It is also thought provoking and has relevance today. Just understand that one is purchasing a biography of a great man as mush as a story of political intrigue and upheaval. Thank You...

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  • John Henry
  • 16-02-21

Absolutely brilliant. HS Teacher Recommends

absolutely brilliant as a high school teacher in history and civics I think this book should be required for all students studying WW2 .We must hold up General Butler as the true hero he is.