He became a myth in his own lifetime and an international martyr-figure upon his death; he was a revolutionary fighter, a military strategist, a social philosopher, an economist, a medical doctor, and a friend and confidant of Fidel Castro. Che Guevara's dream was an epic one - to unite Latin America and the rest of the developing world through ...
He became a myth in his own lifetime and an international martyr-figure upon his death; he was a revolutionary fighter, a military strategist, a social philosopher, an economist, a medical doctor, and a friend and confidant of Fidel Castro. Che Guevara's dream was an epic one - to unite Latin America and the rest of the developing world through armed revolution, and to end once and for all the poverty, injustice and petty nationalisms that had bled it for centuries. In the end, Che failed in his quest but he is recognized as that one-in-a-million personality who just might have pulled it off. "Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life" shuttles between the revolutionary capitals of Havana and Algiers to the battlegrounds of Bolivia and the Congo; from the halls of power in Moscow and Washington to the exile havens of Miami, Mexico and Guatemala, in a gripping tale of revolution, international intrigue and covert operations. It has an epic sweep as it evokes an era of tumultuous change, describing major events like the Bay of Pigs invasion, the October Missile crisis and Kennedy's assassination. Among its cast of characters are scores of historic personalities including Castro, Kennedy, Kruschev, Mao Tse-tung, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, to name but a few. Jon Lee Anderson has been given unprecedented access to the Cuban Government's archives and has had total co-operation from Che's widow, Aleida March, who has never previously spoken for publication about her late husband. He has obtained hitherto unpublished documents, including several of Che's personal diaries and, in the course of his research, broke open a twenty-eight-year-old mystery - the whereabouts of Che's body in Bolivia. There is no doubt that this monumental work will stand as the definitive portrait of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating, yet largely unexplored, historical figures.
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Publishers Weekly, 2009-11-30 The incredible life of the Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara is documented in this thorough, compulsively engaging 1997 biography and inspiration for Steven Soderbergh's 2008 biopic. Beginning with Che's childhood in Argentina, Andersen covers every possible aspect of his subject's life-from Che's first encounter with Fidel and Raul Castro in Mexico City through the Cuban revolution to his failed attempt at reform in the African Congo-leaving no event, personal or political, unanalyzed. Armando Duran gives a brilliant performance that captures Che in all his contradictions. Duran displays his inherent acting ability in this reading that does full justice to the prose and never fails to captivate despite the near 37-hour length. A Grove Press hardcover. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1997-03-10 At 25 (in 1953), Ernesto Guevara de la Serna received his medical degree in Argentina. A conventional career lay ahead if he wanted it. At 39, captured in a quixotic, doomed guerrilla operation in the Bolivian outback unenthusiastically financed by Havana, "Che" was shot to death as he lay trussed on the floor of a village schoolhouse. In the years between, he had metamorphosed from doctor to tramp to revolutionary, discovering his cause and his anti-yanqui resolve in the poverty of Guatemala and as one of the 18 survivors of Fidel Castro's incursion into Cuba. Reckless in promoting his Mao-esque brand of Marxism, he tried to make the Cuban model work in postcolonial Africa and elsewhere in Latin America, expecting that a small but dedicated band of operatives could enlist a burgeoning army of the exploited and overturn oppressive regimes. Anderson (coauthor of Guerrillas), a thorough researcher but a plodding writer, shows that Che found few converts to his religion of fanatical, selfless revolution. Bored with ministerial office in Castro's Cuba, he tried to transplant that country's success. He had a hard time accepting that courageous communist ideologues were rare and that exploited troops tended to melt away when victories didn't come easily. Through letters, speeches, unpublished diaries and numerous interviews, including one with Che's widow, sometimes in overwhelming detail and at daunting length, Anderson establishes as fact suppositions that the CIA's pursuit of Guevara was relentless and probably unnecessary. This huge biography will add to his iconic status. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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