Here in a factual record is an Alfred Hitchcock custom-tailored vehicle, as calculatedly chilling a study of the coup d'etat as even an old cloak-and-dagger hand could want. Goodspeed's analysis is both comprehensive and compressed, the socio-philosophical details never slowing down the suspenseful stratagems, the psychology of the insurgents only heightening the narrative details, the sub rosa power struggles going on in many camps merely sharpening the ironic denouements. Of the six coups recounted, the last three are far and away the best:- Russia's October Revolution with its elements of farce, tragedy and spectacular blood-letting; Mussolini's socalled March on Rome, a sort of opera bouffe in neo-Machiavellian terms; and the less well known Rastenburg cabal, the failure of the German officers' attempt on Hitler's life, an almost clinical commentary on inhumanity and complete moral breakdown. The first three,- Karageorge's Belgrade takeover, Ireland's Easter debacle, and the Kapp Putsch of Berlin are generally tense and taut but lack lasting impact. Purists may quibble over Goodspeed's theorizing or his cultural once-overs; they may even stress the distance between this work and Camus' The Rebel. But the average reader won't have such reservations, being more than grateful for so good an entertainment, so exciting an expose of Europe's underground.