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Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him
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Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  278 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
A critical biography of the iconic communist revolutionary, and an expose of the liberals who lionize him.

Nearly four decades after his death, its impossible to avoid the image of Ernesto Che Guevara everywhere from T-shirts to cartoons. Liberals consider Che a revolutionary martyr who gave his life to help the poor of Latin America. Time named him one of the one hundred

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 19th 2007 by Sentinel HC (first published 2007)
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Nov 03, 2007 Andres rated it it was ok
A very biased view of Ernesto "Che" Guevara's revolutionary career.

Che has been a hero of mine for as many years as it's been since he was first thrust into the public arena. His life is a fascinating tapestry of the bourgeois and the revolutionary, full of as many contradictions as it is of predictable behaviors.

I've read probably every single biography of Che that's been published in Spanish and English, including those published by the Cuban Revolutionary Government. Between all of them, of w
Jan 14, 2009 Phillip rated it it was amazing
Lived as a murdering bastard. Died a coward. It is amazing that people walk around wearing T-shirts with his picture. Why not Hitler? If Che and his murdering crowd had been just a tad bit luckier, or more skilled (he was kind of a clutz and no military genius), we would have had 9/11 a long time ago. The left, in its guilt-driven angst, made a hero of someone who spent most of his time in NY (in the penthouses of idiots) running down this country and telling bozos why he was so great. After he ...more
Carlos Mendoza
Oct 15, 2010 Carlos Mendoza rated it it was amazing
I used to mentally deduct 20 IQ points from anyone I see wearing a Che T-shirt.

I don't do that anymore.

Now I deduct 50 points.

In North Korea, the cult of personality surrounding Kim Jung Il has its narrative so well-controlled that citizens there really, truly believe that he has superhuman powers. This happened because there is no other available, realistic counter-narrative about him there. The propaganda machine controls every aspect of the story about his life. Such was the case for many Che
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 25, 2013 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
If you are one who worships at the alter of "Che" you will be annoyed here. Since I was in high school (1960s)Che Guevara has been an icon of the political left...the "revolution" of Marxist Stalinism Communism or possibly Stalinist Marxist Communism, or whatever.

The irony, well ironies of this love affair with Che has always seemed humorously sad to me. Being in school in the 1960s he was almost a contemporary and was just coming into his own so to speak. The image that shows up on T-shirts, sw
Dec 18, 2012 Anthony rated it it was amazing
Initially I was reluctant to read EXPOSING THE REAL CHE GUEVARA: AND THE USEFUL IDIOTS WHO IDOLIZE HIM because of the idiotic title. I felt (and still feel) that while the author probably meant the title to be provocative, it actually makes the book sound like it is an unscholarly and heavily biased Republican tirade against a leftist hero. The last thing I wanted to do was waste my time and clutter my mind with a book that had as much intelligence, sophistication, and historical basis as someth ...more
Jan 16, 2008 Varmint rated it really liked it
Do you know someone who is "Gay for Che"? A person who considers themselves tolerant and humane and progressive, but for some reason idolizes a dictators right hand goon?

I got into an ugly little argument at the bookstore while buying this. An old hippie explained that she'd just come back from cuba. And that I shouldn't believe the work of some miami fascist. She insisted "The people", loved their Che. This is the mindset you will encounter from these imbeciles. She thinks people who live in a
Mar 07, 2008 Abigail rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who have a clue
I always wondering what the hell was the deal with this guy? It never made sense to me why people made him into this Jesus figure when he worked alongside Castro whom everyone hates and he was a guerilla, which means he killed people (A LOT OF INNOCENT PEOPLE). Che was a disgusting, demented man along the likes of Hitler, maybe even worse.

If you have some retarded poster or T-shirt of this guy burn it now before you humiliate yourself even further - this goes for you too Carlos Santana (stupid h
Aug 04, 2009 Nocheevo rated it did not like it
Shelves: history, politics
The book covers the real Che Guevara. In a packed 208 pages, Humberto Fontova, covers the story of this plucky Irish expat from Argentina’s non-hiding Nazi minority ethic group as he backpacks upwards in an effort to visit Jimmy Dean of the Norte Americano movies, to his initial keyboard fumblings in the NY elcto-trash scene before switching to turntables and finding success with Rage Against the Machine in which he made the guitar sound unguitar whilst poster boy Tom Morello mimed. Along the wa ...more
J Aurelius
Dec 30, 2008 J Aurelius marked it as to-read
I am very concerned that some people don't realize that Castro had good intentions when he started out but Communism is only good in theory. There is a lot of fascist shit going on in America but to each their own. Needless to say, I am not above gaining information from both sides.
Tim P
Jan 08, 2009 Tim P rated it liked it
Not the most scholarly work ever written, but contains enough information and details to shoot massive holes through most of the popular memory of Che.
that cute little red-eyed kitten
Read about 2/3 of this book and I think I get the point. Actually, the point is in the title. The book goes on to elaborate why the personality cult really is a stroke of idiocy (given that we trust the author's version of events, then obviously he is right to say "idiots").

Actually, I don't doubt that Cuba is every bit the dictatorship and that the Cuban revolution was every bit as bloody and unfair as all other revolutions I've heard about. I do have a problem with the tone of the author, tho
Don Incognito
Sep 07, 2011 Don Incognito rated it really liked it
An eye-opening account, documented with many endnotes, of who Ernesto "Che" Guevara was and how he behaved. The sources are usually Cubans--exiles in Miami; surviving relatives of people executed on Guevara's orders (Fidel Castro put him in charge of executions); Bay of Pigs invasion survivors; and former Cuban Communists who defected to the U.S. Most biographies of Guevara are hagiographies, some written by the Cuban government itself. Some of the principal facts you will learn are:
-Guevara wa
Aug 08, 2011 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover art/title are enough to grab any person's interest. As Fontova begins, I associate myself with the many that thought of him as a freedom fighter, as the protagonist in Motorcycle Diaries who grows to be a hero for the masses. And then I see this title that labels me a "useful idiot" and my opinion changes as I read. I loved reading a different perspective of Che. Told from the point of view of a child of refugees, his bias is blatant and I think his anger clouds his writing. He lacks o ...more
Feb 12, 2009 Elyse rated it really liked it
I knew what I was getting into when I started reading this, and I wasn't expecting Fontova to claim an unbiased viewpoint. He didn't. But I'm much more willing to listen to someone who loudly professes their biases than pretends they don't have any. So there.

I thought the book was easy to read, interesting, with a lot of personal stories. The pro-Che side to the story is so prevalent in America (unfortunately) that I don't feel like I need to go read Motorcycle Diaries. The history of communism
Jan 12, 2016 Brian rated it liked it
"Exposing the Real Che Guevara" is an interesting text, and certainly sheds some light on a man who was a blight in twentieth century history. I learned some out of the ordinary facts in this text, and I would tell people to read it simply as a starting point to finding out the truth about Che.
Having said that though...Mr. Fontova's prejudices come through, and he has a right to them. But in being so emotional, he gives his detractors something to point at and belittle. This allows people, and d
Dec 13, 2010 Jeff rated it did not like it
While the idolization of Che Guevara is a complete joke, the author's transparent hatred makes the book far too slanted to take seriously.
Nov 08, 2015 Andy rated it really liked it
This is the 4th or 5th Che Guevara bio I've read and it is very different from all the others. This one comes from a conservative perspective and is minus the praise the other biographers heap on Che. OK, to be fair, I don’t think the other biographers were as enamored with Che as Fontova makes them out to be but the others do seem to hold him up as more of a hero than as a killer. This is an interesting and needed perspective, even if it does go over the top a little bit and focus too often on ...more
Gregory Dilcox
Dec 03, 2014 Gregory Dilcox rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a terrible read, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised based on the title alone. Don't get me wrong, arguments against Che Guevara exist, and Fontova scratched the surface on some of them but instead of making clearly, well researched points he would just reference something and then insult people. He uses Jon Lee Anderson's biography a lot and insults Anderson almost as much. Fontova uses Cubans that were forced out of Cuba, most of which only had second hand knowledge, as sources and i ...more
Bliss Tew
Sep 24, 2012 Bliss Tew rated it really liked it
"EXPOSING THE REAL CHE GUEVARA-AND THE USEFUL IDIOTS WHO IDOLIZE HIM" is a book the entire world should read, especially the "useful idiots who idolize him." Their idolization of the late communist terrorist, murderer, revolutionary, and invader of foreign lands would likely discontinue, even though such idolization is popular in some circles, if they knew the eye-witness facts presented in Mr. Fontova's excellent book about Che.

The irony of movie stars and politicians giving a standing ovation
Aug 22, 2011 Malison rated it really liked it
This book, cannot leave you indifferent which I think should be the purpose of a good book. It challenges you, prvokes your critical thinking. I am thoroughly amazed by the brainwashing machine subtly programmed by people like Fidel Castro. I cannot deny his manipulation is sucessful, when I walk in the streets I constantly see ypung people, such as myself, wearing T-shirts of Che. However, if you ask them why, all you are to hear is their learnt by heart speech that they repeat like parrots, wo ...more
Despite being unabashedly polemical, Fontova is fastidious in providing credible sources along with his assertions. This is not a balanced inspection of Che Guevara's life, so if that's what you're looking for, move right along. Fontova writing about Che is the equivalent of Richard Dawkins writing a history of the creationist movement. But just as Dawkins is a scientist and doesn't need to resort to lies to prove his point, neither does Fontova need to lie to paint an ugly portrait of Che. Font ...more
Jun 16, 2010 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to know what Fidel Castro and his brother Raul along with the Argentinian "doctor" Ernesto "Che" Guevara did to Cuba after Batista, you need to read this book. Having said that, the one major drawback of this book are the personal axes that author Humberto Fontova has to grind. Fontova, along with his siblings and mother were able to escape Cuba in 1961. His father couldn't leave with them at the time as he had been detained for questioning by Che and his henchmen. Usually those deta ...more
Nick Wallace
Jan 15, 2010 Nick Wallace rated it liked it
I've never been able to understand people's fascination and fawning over Guevara. A full discussion of the reasons behind this would become too far removed from the subject of this book. I believe it's sufficient to say that 90% of the people who wear a shirt with that picture screened on have next to no idea who is depicted. Even when those who knowingly show off this pseudo-religious icon, they too often espouse the glories of the Cuban Revolution and how it was pushed into communism and one-m ...more
Feb 19, 2015 Kelsey rated it liked it
Ernesto (Che) Guevara has been compared by some to Jesus Christ and yet described by many who left Cuba as a murdering psychopath. I think it makes more sense to believe those who knew him and fled rather than the handful of sycophant celebrities who, even now, wear his engraved image. His firing squad eventually taped their victims's mouths shut so they would no longer yell out, "Long Live Christ the King." In a letter to his father, Che wrote about his humble beginnings which led him into Fide ...more
Curtis Smothers
Oct 13, 2012 Curtis Smothers rated it really liked it
Wondering why Che Guevara is marketed as somewhat of a counter-culture iconic hero? It must be the macho charismatic pose with beret and single star and look of dedication that does it. Humberto Fontova, a Cuban exile, sees Che a lot less idealistically, as can be readily deduced from the second half of his title, "...and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him."

If you're one of those "Why can't we just get along?" types, you'll probably not like all the bias and partisanship in this chronicle of the
Jason King
Sep 21, 2011 Jason King rated it it was ok
Not a scholarly work but it says a lot about the idealization of flesh and blood who, at base form, who might have very well been a sadistic narcissist. People love him (and hate him) for lots of reasons. Very few are ultimately about Che Guevara - the man, the head of La Cabaña military prison who said that evidence to convict a criminal was a bourgeois concept - but who did other nice things too - but of personal reflections of their perceptions of justice and humanity. Read this with a grain ...more
Michael Bury
Nov 16, 2014 Michael Bury rated it did not like it
You know who else killed a shit-ton of innocent people? The American government. This dude is from the Cuban exile community and has an ax to grind, plain and simple.
Apr 11, 2009 Emtee rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
I always knew Che was a commie, and didn't know why so many in the media, Hollywood, and supposed "rebels" worshiped him and wore him on T-shirts, and now that I've read this, I am convinced that it is because they are ignorant morons.

It's amazing how other reviewers can read this book, read all the atrocities Che committed and masterminded, and be critical that it "wasn't balanced" or that Fontova "seemed angry." I would actually call it "telling the story the right way." Che was a monster, and
Nov 18, 2010 Naomi rated it it was amazing
An absolutely fascinating read. I could not put this book down. It is written by someone who lost a family member as a result of the Fidel Castro/Che partnership in murder and communist submission. I find it fascinating that the Hollywood leftist idiots who wear this mass murderers image on their persons don't realize or choose not to realize that he would have just as easily put a bullet in the back of their heads for them being "artists. Hmmmmmmm.
Христо Блажев
Тъмната половина на Че Гевара

Митове се създават лесно. Трудно се рушат. Известно улеснение е премахването им с други митове (както при религиите, които се заместват една друга). Но истината, онази - имагинерно-обективната, все се изплъзва някъде отвъд хоризонта.
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Humberto Fontova was born in Havana, Cuba. He and his family of 5 attempted to leave in 1961, but only 4 of them were successful. Humberto Fontova Sr. (author's father) was grabbed by the milicianos. He yelled to Esther (mother) and the 3 kids (Humberto age 7, Patricia age 8, and Enrique age 5) to "Go ahead!....Whatever happens to me, I don't want ya'll growing up here!" The next day, from a cousi ...more
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“Che abandoned his first wife, Hilda, a Peruvian woman of Indian extraction, for a taller, blonder trophy wife (also named Aleida). Their 1959 wedding in Havana was the social event of the year and featured Raul Castro as "best man." After he married Aleida, Che would continue to "upgrade" his women, taking the worldly Tamara "Tania" Bunke, born of German parents in Argentina, as his mistress.” 3 likes
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