Haig's Coup: How Richard Nixon's Closest Aide Forced Him from Office
When General Alexander M. Haig Jr. returned to the White House on May 3, 1973, he found the Nixon administration in worse shape than he had imagined. President Richard Nixon, reelected in an overwhelming landslide just six months earlier, had accepted the resignations of his top aides—the chief of staff H. R. Haldeman and the 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 as the Watergate scandal snowballed. Nixon needed a savior, someone who would lift his fortunes while keeping his White House from blowing apart. He hoped that savior would be his deputy national security adviser, Alexander Haig, whom he appointed chief of staff. But Haig’s goal was not to keep Nixon in office—it was to remove him.
In Haig’s Coup, Ray Locker uses recently declassified documents to tell the true story of how Haig orchestrated Nixon’s demise, resignation, and subsequent pardon. A story of intrigues, cover-ups, and treachery, this incisive history shows how Haig engineered the “soft coup” that ended our long national nightmare and brought Watergate to an end.