Onwumechili provides an exciting perspective on African military coups and reminds us that democracy is not synonymous solely with Western societies. He examines democracies in traditional Africa and shows how these socieites clearly defined and limited the roles of traditional African armies. From this background, Onwumechili makes readers appreciate that modern African armies are deviant institutions, with no roots in traditional Africa. Rather, he argues, one has to seek those roots in Africa's recent, colonial history. Dr. Onwumechili goes on to describe the reasons for coups and their tactics. Finally, he examines how military coups can be prevented. While previous solutions have largely failed, Onwumechili provides convincing solutions based on case studies.