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I read it in a collection in the early 80s. I believe it was in the near future.

A young prisoner was enrolled in some sort of program where he was educated as part of an experimental program. Once he was deemed sufficiently rehabilitated he was eventually released to begin a new life as a college educated citizen and proof that the program works.

He plots secretly and builds up an underground movement that eventually takes over the television and radio stations and mounts a coup against the government. I seem to remember having tanks roll up on the White House or some other famed government building.

I thought maybe it was Ben Bova but couldn't find any stories of his that match.

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    I once read a very similar story. Some sort of fancy educational techniques were being used on former members of juvenile street gangs. The main character was a former gang leader who studied military history and tactics and then tried to take over, but his effort was ultimately crushed. At the very end, some of the other students of this program (other former gang leaders) were hiding from the authorities and saying something like: "Charlie was in too much of a hurry. When the rest of us make our big move, we will be ready to do it right!" But I can't remember the title or author.
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 2:41
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    @DavidW If, as I suspect, scaba and I are thinking of the same story, then one thing I'm sure of is that I once read it in some sort of science fiction anthology. What I'm not sure of, but suspect, is that the author was describing some sort of futuristic technology being used on the juvenile delinquents' brains to make them smarter, or at least much quicker to learn complicated new ideas. (What nobody foresaw was that the main character would become particularly fascinated by books about such men as Napoleon and Hitler.)
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 2:49
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    @DavidW - it was in a collection of science fiction short stories. Like I said in my post.
    – Joe F
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 2:52
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    I remember a similar short story, ending as the young gang leader being educated checks out a book about Genghis Khan from the library. Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 15:22
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    Sequel to Clockwork Orange? Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 18:12

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Elements of the description match a couple of Bova short stories – “Escape!” and “Blood of Tyrants” – both are based on the same character being ‘rehabilitated’ but whereas the first has a positive ending the latter has a much darker end. Both can be found in the collection ‘Escape Plus’ – the blurb preceding ‘Blood of Tyrants’ mentions a full novel version called ‘City of Darkness’

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  • Might help if you were more specific about the plots. For instance, you say "Blood of the Tyrants" has a "much darker end," but you don't say what that ending was. So I don't know if that story ended along the same lines as what is outlined in the original question, and what I mentioned in a comment afterwards -- an attempted coup which was finally crushed by overwhelming military force? But, as I said in a comment, with other young men from the same training program still lurkingi n the shadows, planning to do it bigger and better when the time was ripe?
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 21:00
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    I believe "Escape" is the one, skimming through the Kindle sample. Thanks!
    – Joe F
    Commented Jan 1, 2020 at 21:22

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