In this book the author analyzes the phenomenon of coup d’état as a specific means of gaining state power. Though quite frequently found in practice, this phenomenon is almost completely unexplored in political theory. The author examines the concept of coup d’état itself and its various connotations and compares coup d’état with other forms of usurpation of state power, such as revolutions, rebellions, civil wars or guerilla warfare. He also deals with the technique of coup d’état. The book includes an overview of accomplished coups d’état since the beginning of the twentieth century and a list of present political leaders who came to power in this way.