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.

  • What about this story is science fictional or fantastic? So far it sounds like a fairly conventional political thriller. – DavidW Feb 21 at 2:37
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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 Feb 21 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 Feb 21 at 2:49
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    @DavidW - it was in a collection of science fiction short stories. Like I said in my post. – scaba Feb 21 at 2:52
  • @Lorendiac - yes, that seems familiar. It may be the one I'm thinking of – scaba Feb 21 at 2:54

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