Haig's Coup

How Richard Nixon's Closest Aide Forced Him from Office

Ray Locker

The true story of how Alexander Haig orchestrated Richard Nixon's demise, resignation, and pardon.
Publication date:
May 2019
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Illustration :
10 photographs
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781640120358

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
This book is available


• It is the first to use Bob Woodward's own archived notes to challenge his claims about Deep Throat, about Haig
• Recently declassified documents, oral histories, and a trove of research on Nixon and Haig help Locker tell the true story of Haig's orchestration of Nixon's demise, resignation, and pardon
• Corrects some of the incorrect narratives of the final months of Nixon's presidency
• Nixon and Haig remain prominent figures in American political history
• Locker leverages the findings of his first book Nixon's Gamble ​(Lyons Press, 2015), which detailed the roots of Nixon's policy and political problems and the forces arrayed against him
• Locker shows how Haig engineered the revelation of Nixon's White House taping system

Gen. Alexander M. Haig Jr. returned to the White House on May 3, 1973, to find the Nixon administration in worse shape than he had imagined. President Richard Nixon, re-elected in an overwhelming landslide just six months earlier, had accepted the resignations of his top aides - Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman and domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman—just three days earlier. Haldeman and Ehrlichman had enforced the president's will and protected him from his rivals and his worst instincts for four years. Without them, Nixon stood alone, backed by a staff that lacked gravitas and confidence in the wake of the snowballing Watergate scandal. Nixon needed a savior, someone who would lift his fortunes while keeping his White House from blowing apart. Nixon hoped that savior would be his deputy national security adviser, Alexander Haig. Nixon, for whom Haig claimed he was fighting, was undermined by the man he most counted on to help him. Haig provided little of the loyalty Nixon had received from Haldeman and Ehrlichman, and Nixon's presidency and legacy suffered for it. Haig's job was not to keep Nixon in office, it was to remove him.

In Haig's Coup, Ray Locker uses recently declassified documents, oral histories, and a private trove of research on Nixon and Haig to tell the true story of how Haig orchestrated Nixon's demise, resignation, and subsequent pardon. A story of intrigues, cover-ups and treachery, Haig's Coup shows how Haig engineered what has been called the "soft coup" that removed Nixon while allowing Haig to save himself.