Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

Audiobook(CD - Unabridged)

View All Available Formats & Editions


Combining unprecedented access to the personal archives maintained by Guevara's widow, carefully guarded Cuban government documents, and extensive interviews with both Che's comrades and the CIA men and Bolivian officers who hunted him down, this acclaimed biography stands as "an enduring achievement" ("The Boston Globe"), illuminating as never before this mythic figure who embodied the greatest moment of revolutionary communism as a force in history. 832 pp. 9-city author tour. 50,000 print.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433270666
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 04/28/2009
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 29
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 6.40(h) x 3.70(d)

About the Author

JON LEE ANDERSON began working as a reporter in 1979 for the Lima Times in Peru. During the 1980s he covered Central America first for the syndicated columnist Jack Anderson and later for Time magazine. He has also written for the New York Times, Nation, Harper’s, Life, and the Nation and is the author of Guerillas: Journeys in the Insurgent World.

Armando Durán has appeared in films, television, and regional theaters throughout the West Coast. For the last decade he has been a member of the resident acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. A native Californian, he divided his time between Los Angeles and Ashland, Oregon.

Read an Excerpt

Che Guevara

A Revolutionary Life
By Jon Lee Anderson

Grove Atlantic, Inc.

Copyright © 1997 Jon Lee Anderson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8021-3558-7

Chapter One

A Mate Plantation in Misiones

I The horoscope was confounding. If the famous guerrilla revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born on June 14, 1928, as stated on his birth certificate, then he was a Gemini-and a lackluster one at that. The astrologer, a friend of Che's mother, did her calculations again to find a mistake, but the results she came up with were the same. The Che that emerged was a grey, dependent personality who had lived an uneventful life. There were only two possibilities: Either she was right about Che, or she was worthless as an astrologer. When shown the dismal horoscope, Che's mother laughed. She then confided a secret she had guarded closely for over three decades. Her famous son had actually been born one month earlier, on May 14. He was no Gemini, but a headstrong and decisive Taurus. The deception had been necessary, she explained, because she was three months pregnant on the day she married Che's father. Immediately after their wedding, the couple had left Buenos Aires for the remote jungle backwater of Misiones. There, as her husband set himself up as an enterprising yerba mate planter, she went through her pregnancy away from the prying eyes of Buenos Aires society. When she was near term,they traveled down the Parana River to the city of Rosario. She gave birth there, and a doctor friend falsified the date on her baby's birth certificate, moving it forward by one month to help shield them from scandal. When their baby son was a month old, the couple notified their families. Their story was that they had tried to reach Buenos Aires, but at Rosario Celia Guevara had gone into labor prematurely. A baby born at seven months, after all, is not an out-of-the-question occurrence. If there were any doubts, the couple's story and their child's official birth date were quietly accepted by their families and friends, and remained unchallenged for years. If that child had not grown up to become the renowned revolutionary Che, his parents' secret might well have gone with them to their graves. He must be one of the rare public figures of modern times whose birth and death certificates are both falsified. Yet it seems uniquely fitting that Guevara, who spent most of his adult life engaged in clandestine activities and who died as the result of a secret conspiracy, should have also begun life with a subterfuge.

II When, in 1927, Ernesto Guevara Lynch first met Celia de la Serna, she had just graduated from the exclusive Buenos Aires Catholic girls' school, Sacre Coeur. She was a dramatic-looking girl of twenty with an aquilinne nose, wavy dark hair, and brown eyes. Celia was well read but unworldly, devout but questioning. Ripe, in other words, for a romantic adventure. Celia de la Serna was a true Argentine blue blood of undiluted Spanish noble lineage. One ancestor had been the Spanish royal viceroy of colonial Peru; another a famous Argentine military general. Her paternal grandfather had been a wealthy landowner, and Celia's own father had been a renowned law professor, congressman, and ambassador. Both he and his wife died while Celia was still a child, leaving her and her six brothers and sisters to be raised by a religious guardian aunt. But despite her parents' untimely deaths, the family had conserved its revenue-producing estates, and Celia was due a comfortable inheritance when she reached the legal age of twenty-one. At twenty-seven, Ernesto Guevara Lynch was both moderately tall and handsome, with a strong chin and jaw. The glasses he wore for astigmatism gave him a deceptively clerkish appearance, for he had an ebullient, gregarious personality, a hot temper, and an outsized imagination. He also possessed Argentine surnames of good vintage: He was the great-grandson of one of South America's richest men, and his ancestors included both Spanish and Irish nobility. But over the years, his family had lost most of its fortune. During the nineteenth century Rosas tyranny, the male heirs of the wealthy Guevara and Lynch clans had fled Argentina to join the California gold rush. After returning from exile, their American-born offspring, Roberto Guevara Castro and Ana Isabel Lynch, had married. Ernesto was the sixth of their eleven children. They lived well, but they were no longer landed gentry. While her husband worked as a geographical surveyor, Ana Isabel raised the children in Buenos Aires. They summered at a rustic country house on her inherited slice of the old family seat. To prepare his son for a working life, Roberto Guevara had sent him to a state-run school, telling him: "The only aristocracy I believe in is the aristocracy of talent." But Ernesto still belonged by birthright to Argentine society. He had grown up on his mother's stories of California frontier life, and listening to his father's own terrifying tales of Indian attacks and sudden death in the high Andes. His family's illustrious and adventurous past was a legacy too powerful to overcome. He was nineteen when his father died, and although he went to college, studying architecture and engineering, he dropped out before graduation. He wanted to have his own adventures and make his own fortune, and he used his father's modest inheritance to pursue the goal. By the time he met Celia, Ernesto had invested most of his money with a wealthy relative in a yacht-building company, the Astillero San Isidro. He worked there for a time as an overseer, but it was not enough to hold his interest. Soon he was enthused about a new project: A friend had convinced him he could make his fortune by growing yerba mate, the stimulating native tea ritually drunk by millions of Argentines. Land was cheap in the yerba-growing province of Misiones, twelve hundred miles up the Parana River from Buenos Aires on Argentina's northern border with Paraguay and Brazil. Originally settled by Jesuit missionaries and their Guarani Indian converts in the sixteenth century, annexed only fifty years earlier by Argentina, Misiones was just then opening up to settlement. Land speculators, well-heeled adventurers, and poor European migrants were flocking in. Guevara Lynch went to see it for himself, and caught "yerba mate fever." His own money was tied up in the astillero, but, with Celia's inheritance, they would be able to buy enough land for a yerba mate plantation, and, he hoped, become rich from the lucrative "green gold." Unsurprisingly, Celia's family closed ranks in opposition to her dilettante suitor. Celia was not yet twenty-one, and under Argentine law she needed her family's approval to marry or receive her inheritance. She asked for it, but they refused. Desperate, for by now she was pregnant, she and Ernesto staged an elopement to force her family's consent. She ran away to an older sister's house. The show of force worked. The marriage was approved, but Celia still had to go to court to win her inheritance. By order of the judge, she was granted a portion of her inheritance, including title to a cattle and grain-producing estancia in central Cordoba province, and some cash bonds from her trust fund-enough to buy a mate plantation in Misiones. On November 10, 1927, she and Ernesto were wed in a private ceremony at the home of a married older sister, Edelmira Moore de la Serna. La Prensa of Buenos Aires gave the news in its "Dia Social" column. Immediately afterward, they fled Buenos Aires for the wilderness of Misiones bearing their mutual secret. "Together we decided what to do with our lives," wrote Guevara Lynch in a memoir published years later. "Behind lay the penitences, the prudery and the tight circle of relatives and friends who wanted to impede our marriage."

III In 1832, British naturalist Charles Darwin had witnessed the atrocities waged against Argentina's native Indians by gaucho warlord Juan Manuel de Rosas, and predicted: "The country will be in the hands of white Gaucho savages instead of copper-coloured Indians. The former being a little superior in education, as they are inferior in every moral virtue." But even as the blood flowed, Argentina had spawned its own pantheon of civic-minded historical heroes, from General Jose de San Martin, the country's liberator in the independence struggle with Spain, to Domingo Sarmiento, the crusading journalist, educator, and president who had finally wrested Argentina into the modern age as a unified republic. Sarmiento's 1845 book, Facundo (Civilization and Barbarity), had been a clarion call to his compatriots to choose the path of civilized man over the brutality of the archetypal Argentine frontiersman, the gaucho. Yet even Sarmiento had wielded a dictator's authority to lead the country, and with his death the Argentine cult of the strongman, or caudillo, had not disappeared. Caudillismo would remain a feature of politics well into the next century as government swung back and forth between caudillos and democrats in a bewildering, cyclical dance. Indeed, as if reflecting the sharp contrasts of the great land they had conquered, there was an unreconciled duality in the Argentine temperament, seemingly balanced in a state of perpetual tension between savagery and enlightenment. At once passionate, volatile, and racist, Argentines were also expansive, humorous, and hospitable. The paradox had produced a flourishing culture and found expression in classic works of literature such as Ricardo Guiraldes's Don Segundo Sombra and the gaucho epic poem Martin Fierro by Jose Hernandez. Since the 1870s, the country had become more stable. And, when the conquest of the southern pampas was finally secured after an officially sponsored campaign to exterminate the native Indian population, vast new lands had opened up for colonization. The pampas were fenced in as grazing and farming lands; new towns and industries sprang up; railroads, ports, and roads were built. By the turn of the century, its population had tripled, swollen by the influx of over a million immigrants from Italy, Spain, Germany, Britain, Russia, and the Middle East who had poured into the rich southern land of opportunity-and still they came. A dismal colonial garrison on the vast Rio de la Plata estuary only a century before, the city of Buenos Aires now had a melting pot's combustive quality, epitomized by the sensuous new culture of tango, its dark-eyed crooner Carlos Gardel giving redolent voice to a burgeoning national pride. Its population spoke their own creole street dialect called lunfardo, an Argentine cockney rich in double entendres, cribbed from Quechua, Italian, and local gaucho Spanish. The city's docks were bustling: Ships carried Argentina's meat, grains, and hides off to Europe while others docked bringing American Studebakers, gramophones, and the latest Paris fashions. The city boasted an opera house, a stock exchange, and a fine university; rows of imposing neoclassical public buildings and private mansions; landscaped green parks with shade trees and polo fields, as well as ample boulevards graced with heroic statues and sparkling fountains. Electric streetcars rattled and zinged along cobbled streets past elegant, bronzed-doored confiterias and wiskerias with gold lettering on etched glass windows. In their mirrored and marble interiors, haughty white-jacketed waiters with slicked-down hair posed and swooped like vigilant, gleaming eagles. But while Buenos Aires's portenos, as they called themselves, looked to Europe for their cultural comparisons, much of the interior still languished in nineteenth-century neglect. In the north, despotic provincial caudillos held sway over vast expanses of cotton- and sugar-growing lands. Among their workers, diseases such as leprosy, malaria, and even bubonic plague were still common. In the Andean provinces, the indigenous Quechua- and Aymara-speaking Indians known as coyas lived in conditions of extreme poverty. Women would not be given the vote for another two decades, and legal divorce would take even longer. Vigilante justice and indentured servitude were features of life in much of the hinterland. Argentina's political system had not kept pace with its changing society and had stagnated. For decades, two parties, the Radical and the Conservative, had ruled the country's destiny. The current Radical president, Hipolito Yrigoyen, was aging and eccentric, a sphinxlike figure who rarely spoke or appeared in public. Workers had few rights, and strikes were often suppressed by gunfire and police batons. Criminals were transported by ship to serve terms of imprisonment in the cold southern wastes of Patagonia. But, with immigration and the twentieth century, new political ideas had also arrived. Feminists, socialists, anarchists, and now Fascists began making their voices heard. In the Argentina of 1927, political and social change was inevitable, but had not yet come.

IV With Celia's money, Guevara Lynch bought two hundred hectares (about five hundred acres) of jungle along the banks of the Rio Parana. On a bluff overlooking the coffee-colored water and the dense green forest of the Paraguayan shore, they erected a roomy wooden house on stilts, with an outdoor kitchen and outhouse. They were a long way from the comforts of Buenos Aires, but Guevara Lynch was enraptured. With an entrepreneur's eager eye, he looked into the jungle around him, and he saw the future. Perhaps he believed he could, as his grandfathers had done before him, "restore" the family fortunes by intrepidly striking out into new and unexplored lands. Whether or not he was consciously emulating his forefathers' experiences, it is clear that for Guevara Lynch, Misiones was his own "Wild West" adventure. To him, it was not just another backward Argentine province, but a thrilling place full of "ferocious beasts, dangerous work, robbery and murders, jungle cyclones, interminable rains and tropical diseases." He wrote: "There, in mysterious Misiones ... everything attracts and entraps. It attracts like all that is dangerous, and entraps like all that is passionate. There, nothing was familiar, not its soil, its climate, its vegetation, nor its jungle full of wild animals, and even less its inhabitants.... From the moment one stepped on its shores, one felt that the safety of one's life lay in the machete or revolver...." Their homestead was in a place named Puerto Caraguatai, named in Guarani after a beautiful native red flower, but its puerto was just a small wooden jetty. Caraguatai was reached by a two-day river journey up from the old trading port of Posadas on the Ibera, a venerable Victorian paddle-wheel steamer that had done prior service carrying British colonials up the Nile. The nearest outpost was the small German settlers' community of Montecarlo, five miles away, but the Guevaras found they had a friendly neighbor who lived a few minutes' walk through the forest.


Excerpted from Che Guevara by Jon Lee Anderson Copyright © 1997 by Jon Lee Anderson . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


On Friday, June 20th, welcomed Jon Lee Anderson to discuss CHE GUEVARA.

Moderator: Jon Lee Anderson, author of CHE GUEVARA: A REVOLUTIONARY LIFE, will respond to your questions about his landmark biography. Welcome, Mr. Anderson!

Jon Lee Anderson: Hello, it's nice to be here. Thanks for having me.

Philip Erendradi from State College, PA: How do you think your bio of Che Guevara differs from the others that have been published?

Jon Lee Anderson: Mine is based upon quite exclusive access to several of Che's unpublished diaries, a sustained working relationship with Che's widow, and with several of his most intimate friends and colleagues. I also did research in several different countries and didn't limit myself to one side, but also sought out and had good access to some of Che's former enemies. I think my book is the only one without a political ax to grind, and I hope it comes closest to an objective portrait of the man and his myth.

Ann from Mich: How long did it take you to write this biography? It seems more the culmination of a life's interest than the typical book.

Jon Lee Anderson: A very insightful comment... Indeed Che is in a way a culmination of a life's long interest by personifying the kind of person I had been fascinated with for several years, and that is the kind of person who crosses the line that exists in all societies and who accepts a weapon to take his life and offer it for an ideal. It took five years in all, between research and writing, and is in a way the logical end to many years spent exploring the guerrilla psyche and heart around the world. I finally felt in one person all the qualities that intrigued me and that I wanted to understand.

Craig N from Richmond, VA: There is an almost mythical allure to Che, a folk hero to many, why do suppose that is?

Jon Lee Anderson: I think Che in a way earned his mythological status because he was that remarkable individual that comes along only very rarely in history. That is Che wanted to change the world in his time and spent his short life pursuing that aim and proved that he was willing to die for it. Like all mythological heros, beginning with Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, Che represents the unreconstructed idealism of youth. He was a person without compromises; unlike most people, he never relinquished his ideals, but lived to achieve them. Whether people agreed with his ideals, he was the purest form of idealist and he did have heroic qualities. Today, in an age without many illusions or ideals, Che endures as an appealing symbol of idealism and the ever-present possibility of revolt against an unchanging status quo.

Eve from Texas: While conducting your research, did you come across anything related to the JFK assassination, and, if so, will we be reading about it in an upcoming book?

Jon Lee Anderson: There were some intriguing bits of information and possible leads to aspects of the JFK assassination story which I don't believe had been previously explored. There wasn't the opportunity for me to delve into them at length or follow up on those leads in the book and I haven't thought about writing a book along those lines, but one never knows.... You might be interested to know that on Che's bookcase was a French book, just published, about the JFK assassination -- it was certainly of his interest as well. The first Soviet official Che had contact with, which was in Mexico, also happened to be one of the officials with whom Oswald spoke just shortly before he was caught in Dallas for the JFK assassination. So there are a number of interesting coincidences.

Jozef Hand-Boniakowski from Wells, VT: Are you aware that 700 young U.S. people who have requested licenses to travel to the Festival of Youth and Students (which is dedicated to Che) were denied permission to attend the Festival? What is you opinion of this travel restriction? Especially in light of our economic ties with China? Does it seem immoral to treat Cuba this way?

Jon Lee Anderson: Well, someone very famous once said that morality has no place in politics and it's cold politics that drives American superpowers' policy toward Cuba. China is a Communist giant and a place of lucrative business potential an ocean away from the U.S., but Cuba is the proverbial mouse that roars only 90 miles from American shores. Mice that roar are always more gauling to super powers than distant pragmatic giants. I think Washington's selective discrimination in its foreign policy is short-sighted and based upon outdated politics, but then what has ever given us a reason to expect anything different?

Kevin McDonald from Kansas: I've finished reading CHE and have started A BRIGHT SHINING LIE, Neil Sheehan's book about Vietnam. Is it possible to overstate the fear that the U.S. government had that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara would successfully export their revolution to other parts of the world, including Vietnam?

Jon Lee Anderson: I think it's a mistake to oversimplify one's analysis of foreign policy postures -- to ascribe fear to the entire American government is perhaps overstating it in the context you present. I know from the information I have seen and the American officials I have spoken to that there was in different levels of the American government genuine concern about Cuba and Che's potential for "communist subversion" in other countries in the third world, and proof of that, if more were needed, is that the U.S. acted quickly upon learning that Che was in Bolivia and sent advisors down to help track him down.

Julio from NYC: Have they located the body of Che yet? Do you have any idea where it is or why it was hidden?

Jon Lee Anderson: Che's body was hidden so as to deny his followers a place in which to pay him homage. Che is buried in a secret grave somewhere near the dirt airstrip on the outskirts of the little mountain town of Vallegrande, Bolivia. Currently efforts are underway to search for and locate his body. I received information from two former Bolivian military sources in the course of my research indicating that Che lies in the place I have just described.

Farris Rookstool, III from Dallas, Texas: Hello again Jon! Two questions: In a new book titled ONE HELL OF A GAMBLE, the authors maintain that Che and Raul kept the fact that they were members of the Communist party from Fidel and that he did not know it. Is this accurate? Could you elaborate? The second question: Could you describe Che's very confusing value for human life? One minute he is taking someone out, then the next sparing and rendering "first aid" to them. Kind of a strange mix of revolutionary with a little "Hippocratic Oath" added. Could you provide me with a better understanding of his value system? Thanks... It is great visiting with you again. Farris.

Jon Lee Anderson: In answer to number one: I have no evidence that this was the case, my perception is that Fidel always knew his brother and Che were Marxist. Their membership, or lack of it, in the Cuban Communist party in any case would have been symbolic or formal identification which pales in importance alongside their actual convictions and intentions.

Two: As a revolutionary, Che fulfilled several functions, something any guerrilla might be obliged to do depending on the circumstances. Traitors in wars are usually shot, and Che's execution of such men follows that historic logic. It was also a way for him to prove to himself and others that such actions are a conscious and harsh necessity in pursuit of the revolutionary goals he aspired to. He was nothing if not aware that there would be many casualties along the road to success. As for his tending to the wounded, of course he was trained as a doctor and by doing so was necessary in the field; he was merely fulfilling a practical duty of revolution. In the end Che was a paradox, however, as you point out, and I think he must be left as that. There are some people as there are some facts of life which are never black or white but maddeningly gray. Also, it was good to talk to you again, Farris!!

Phil Shorter from Phili: What do you think might have happened had Che not been murdered?

Jon Lee Anderson: I think what happened was virtually inevitable and I think Che recognized this as well. He himself had gone off saying, "Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome," in the belief that with his sacrifice he would leave a potent legacy for other revolutionaries to emulate. Sooner or later, Che was going to meet his end in battle, and this was something which he had foreseen and prepared himself for for many years.

Raylene from CondeNast: Did you read anything in Che's personal papers that is not included in this biography?

Jon Lee Anderson: Sure. I had to extract what I thought was meaningful and relative to the narrative from the mass of papers which I had access to.

Maria Gold from Westchester: What was it that inspired you to write this biography? What were you hoping to achieve and what did you find so intriguing about Che Guevara?

Jon Lee Anderson: I would say, I think I answered some of that in another intention was to write the first objective portrait, as probing and intimate as possible, of a man I found fascinating and historically significant and who remarkably for our century had become a myth.

Farris Rookstool, III from Dallas, Texas: If you have time for another question, I would like to know what you think Che would think (today) about what Fidel and Raul have done during the last 30 years. Thanks!

Jon Lee Anderson: Well, in 1965 Che was arguing against Cuba's adoption of the Soviet style of Marxism, and he predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse and return to capitalism, and return to capitalism because of its many flaws. He worried of course that Cuba would follow that same path. Cuba has survived -- as the Soviet Union didn't -- and it has done so at the cost of the revolutionary dream which Che had fought so hard for. Cuba's present situation, I think, is something Che would not be surprised to find, although he would certainly be sad about it. I hope that answers it Farris, for now.

Amelia from NYC: Mr. Anderson, do you think Che Guevara would have approved of Timothy McVeigh's bombing of the Federal Building?

Jon Lee Anderson: No. Che was against terrorism and against fascism, and McVeigh is both of those things -- a fascist and a terrorist.

Moderator: Thanks so much for being here tonight, Mr. Anderson. Best of luck with your future endeavors!

Jon Lee Anderson: Thank you so much for having me on, I look forward to future such dialogues!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Che Guevara 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written book, opinions aside the truth is spoken. Love Che or hate him the book brings to life history not prapaganda. Get both sides of the story with references that lead to other historical books. If you like history and you want to know more i recomend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ignore the previous reviewer. Che was complex-admirable, selfless,driven by a vision to end injustice and poverty in Latin America. His amazing story is brilliantly told in Anderson's epic account.
Andrew Josephson More than 1 year ago
This book was good, but its hard to read all these reviews by people praising Che as some sort if hero. He was nothing more than a terrorist. Even he admitted before his death that he was not changing the lives of the pesants, but providing them with the illusion that they could some day have a better life. He was just a man who abandoned his family for a war that was not really his, but just in his mind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Few have left an impression on me as much as the life of this supremely ballsy revolutionary. NO ONE to my limited knowledge has lived so bold and (self) morally truthful life... and Anderson illustrates it with an indepth understanding as if to think he spent his entire life researching this story. I even understand that Anderson was the one that discovered Che's body in Bolivia after getting one of the few participating execution witnesses drunk to find out the location. A true exemplary example of biography writing...
Guest More than 1 year ago
very interesting reading. clear and precise. although a bit too historical at times, the knowledge is worth the work. che's life makes for a fascinating story. Must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A fantastic book. I don't normally read books, but when someone reccomended it to me, I said 'Why not'. So I read it, and, I have to say, it was an achievement all it's own. This is by far the most comprehensive biography I have ever read. It held my attention the whole way through, and for a book that is quite and accomplishment. I would reccomdend this book to anybody.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a Guatemalean living in the US, I always wanted to know more about che Guevarra's life and this book gave me all the infomation that I need it an separete the Leyend and the real man, Che to me, is That what Martin luter King is for the Afroamerican's, they wanted the same thing in a way, equal rights for everybody.
Niecierpek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent and very thorough biography of Che Guevara, very well put into the context of the world politics of the time. It is a huge book and you spend a lot of time with it, but in the end you can¿t help admiring this intellectual of iron convictions and unbelievable integrity even if you don¿t entirely share his views. Highly recommended.
cammykitty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very thorough, well researched but what a depressing read!
Scaryguy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well rounded, indepth read.
Autodafe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written, Anderson doesn't hold back in revealing a Che who ultimately only cared about himself.
mamorico on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An exciting biography of one of histories most interesting characters. This book begins with Ernesto "Che" Guevara's formative years and struggles with asthma, continues through his education as a medical doctor and the formation of his political beliefs following a trip by motorcycle through much of south and central America. Much coverage is given to his role in the Cuban Revolution and his subsequent participation in the set-up of the government of Cuba. The book ends with the story of Che's Bolivian campaign and his assassination by an agent of the CIA following his capture. Contains many photographs. This is a wonderfully comprehensive work.
piefuchs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Note I read this aloud - every page...which is another way of saying that this is a well written, engaging, and honest account of a person who had a very interesting life. Often in biographies the author tends to romanticize the character - while there was a bit of this, I think that overall Anderson does an admirable job of presenting both sides of a complex story. Very good development of the historical background on the Cuban revolution.
poetontheone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the essential portrait of the life of Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Anyone who is interested in learning who the man really was should read this detailed and balanced biography. It goes beyond the religious idealism of his supporters and the hasty condemnation of his detractors. It presents Che as he was, a noble human being with great qualities, faults, and aspirations. Many might find the extensive detail of this work exhausting, but it is essential to fully understand Guevara, the man, in all his complexity.Beautiful, staggering, and bittersweet.
wesh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anderson's even-handed treatment of a controversial individual in world history is an enjoyable, even easy read. He contextualizes Guevara's life with good information about his family and the political times during his development.
Lezmajz46 More than 1 year ago
Best Title will be: Che Guevara: a murdered life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago