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The African Dream: The Diaries of the Revolutionary War in the Congo
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The African Dream: The Diaries of the Revolutionary War in the Congo

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Ernesto "Che" Guevara was one of the greatest exemplars of the revolutionary 1960s, a man whose heroic adventures were essential to the success of the Cuban Revolution and whose legend fired the imaginations of a whole generation. In 1965, amid worldwide conjecture, Guevara left Cuba, where he was a minister in Fidel Castro's postrevolutionary government, and traveled inco ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 11th 2001 by Grove Press (first published January 1st 1994)
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"I learnt certain things in the Congo. Some mistakes I will never make again, others perhaps I will - and there will be new ones that I shall commit. I set off with more faith than ever in the guerrilla struggle, yet we failed. My responsibility is great; I shall not forget the defeat, nor its most precious lessons."

Africa has a long way to go before it reaches revolutionary maturity. - Che
Arnoldo Garcia
Oct 19, 2014 Arnoldo Garcia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Che buffs, historians, diarists, writers.
Shelves: historic-matter
Only Ernesto Che Guevara could disappear into a sugar cane field as a volunteer worker in Cuba and re-emerge as an internationalist fighting for liberation in Africa, living his words with deeds. Guevara learned bitter lessons leading a guerrilla column in the Congo (1965) that in any case would still cost him his life almost two years later in Bolivia. He starts his diary with a gut-wrenching transparency of truthfulness that only he, Che, mastered. So much that this work of his time in the Con ...more
Rob G.
Jan 24, 2008 Rob G. rated it really liked it
Nicely written and easily presented. I enjoy the honesty that Che Guevara provides. He admits his mistakes and does not see himself above any other loyal solider. That is something to admire.
Dec 02, 2011 Jeremy rated it liked it
A mixed experience for me. In the beginning I was pretty enthusiastic about the book. The prologue, which gave a good overview of the events in the book, was informative and intriguing. The Che-written book that follows was also pretty readable. And early on I enjoyed seeing his early impressions of the Congo and his frank admissions of where he felt he went wrong. But after a while, the story felt bogged down by details. The book became more and more of a slog as I lost track of the various cha ...more
May 14, 2016 Owain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very worthwhile read, less so in my opinion for its insights into historical events, but more so for the light it sheds on not only Che's life but also his character. Much advice and inspiration for the revolutionary can be taken from what Che says in this book. However one should not read it looking for a detailed understanding of the whole situation in Congo. A little detail is provided in the introduction by Richard Gott who's book, Cuba: A New History, I also found to be very infor ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Tim rated it really liked it
This book is just one chapter in the life of one of the greatest revolutionaries of the past century. Guevara is not afraid to admit his shortcomings in this book, and this writing will show the tremendous drive he had to improve the condition of the world's peoples from the exploitation of neo-colonialism and imperialistic empire. He saw the expedition in the Congo as more than just a nationalistic mission, but one that would affect the tentacles of capitalism from destroying even more of the w ...more
Jan 31, 2015 Museveni rated it it was amazing
Incredibly fascinating. Che landed in Congo full of hope for international proletarianism, after a tour of Africa, visiting the continent's many so called anti-imperialist leaders.

In Congo though he found, instead of the peasant supported revolutionaries he hoped for:
- warring tribes' war lords abusing the neighbouring farmers they're supposed to be fighting for
- corrupt mid and high level political leaders, using their international funding for alcohol, prostitutes, and drugs
- and soldiers th
Kazım Kalay
Oct 11, 2015 Kazım Kalay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cehaleti yenmeden devrim yapılamayacağını ya da devrimin ilk adımının cehaleti ve sonrasında da tembelliği yenmek olduğunu ispatlıyor bence bu kitap. Kitabın bazı bölümlerinde şaka yapıldığını düşüneceğiniz kadar çok seviyede karşılaşacağınız bu cahillik ve batıl inançlar benim çevremdeki insanlarda gördüğümden bile daha fazla - ki ben daha fazla olabileceğine inanmazdım.

(Kitabı bitirdikten sonra kafasında hala 'bu adamın orada ne işi var?' sorusu olan olursa cevabı ... İki, Üç, Daha Fazla Vietn
Feb 19, 2009 Marc rated it it was ok
again no real diary. Despite that, the book still has its moments, since Che is describes honestly his state of mind at all times. The major complain here is the length, it simply did not happen enough in the Conga to warrant 320 pages. I often found myself bored and not paying much attention, when Che was complaining for the 100th time (no exaggeration)about the attitude of the african revolutionairies. Only recommened for people really interested in the man.
Nov 23, 2010 Kay rated it it was ok
I think this is an important book, but the intro deifies Che, in a way that is unnecessary and off-putting, especially in a book in which his mission fails. Also, Che comes of as a bit of a racist in the diary, mocking the Congolese's religious beliefs. It drags a bit. Not much else to say on the matter.
(Jenn) Yune Lee
Sep 21, 2007 (Jenn) Yune Lee rated it it was ok
as a friend once told me, by the time che was writing this, he was seeing, breathing, eating, drinking, and shitting revolution...

it was a bit too much for me, especially as i am in west/central africa and seeing some strange similarities between the africa through che's eyes and mine... well, it was not an uplifting read... his passion and eloquence is admirable, but...
Jan 25, 2009 Abe added it
Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna's diary of the Cuban military expedition to the Congo. Once again, a biased account of the conflict, but it is a good descriptor of the frustration Guevara would encounter later in Bolivia.
Rui Igreja
Apr 19, 2013 Rui Igreja rated it really liked it
Shelves: africa
The diaries of Che Guevara during the months he spent fighting the "imperialists" in the east part of Congo. The book starts with "This is the history of a failure", and, with all the Congolese organization mess, Che concludes that the Congolese weren't ready for the Revolution.
Sep 16, 2009 Max added it
Like most books I read, not a feel-good story of the year. A very intense and enlightening chronicle of Che's work in the Congo, however.
Abby Koch
Mar 07, 2008 Abby Koch rated it liked it
A guilty pleasure
Green Books
Jun 16, 2016 Green Books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reprint available on
David Russomano
Oct 17, 2013 David Russomano rated it liked it
Extremely informative. This book described a set of circumstances I knew nothing about.
Aug 08, 2007 Lennon rated it liked it
Shelves: history
A great view of why revolutions sometimes fail, poor communication.
Joseph L.
Jun 23, 2008 Joseph L. rated it really liked it
boring. historical. i learned.
Nov 20, 2016 Chronics rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting and often darkly humourous read, it delves into the largely unknown period of Che's time in Africa. I found it written in a similiar style to the retrospective Cuban Diaries as opposed to the "real time" Bolivian Diaries,however he is much more critical of his own and his troops performances in this edition than in the Cuban. It is enlightening from an external viewpoint of what the the war in the Congo was like, external here meaning from a foreign rather than traditional ...more
Brendan rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2011
Sameer Jhamtani
Sameer Jhamtani rated it liked it
Sep 24, 2012
Dex rated it really liked it
May 21, 2012
B rated it it was amazing
Aug 27, 2013
Alejandro Dugarte
Alejandro Dugarte rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2008
Avik rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2015
Natasha Tisovszky
Natasha Tisovszky rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2011
Andy rated it liked it
May 04, 2012
Bob rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2011
Ellie Robinson
Ellie Robinson rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2016
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Ernesto "Che" Guevara, commonly known as El Che or simply Che, was a Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, since his death Guevara's stylized visage has become an ubiquitous countercultural symbol and global icon within popular culture.

His belief in the necessity of world revolution to adva
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