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Guerrilla Warfare

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  2,042 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews

Che Guevara, the larger-than-life hero of the 1959 revolutionary victory that overturned the Cuban dictatorship, believed that revolution would also topple the imperialist governments in Latin America. Che's call to action, his proclamation of _invincibility_-the ultimate victory of revolutionary forces-continues to influence the course of Latin American history and intern

Paperback, 440 pages
Published December 1st 1985 by University of Nebraska Press (first published 1960)
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As out of date as this book is, it is still of use for a historical and psychological look at the tactics of the guerrilla warrior.

Che's basic principles are simple - any guerrilla force, if properly trained and motivated and with popular support, can overthrow an unpopular repressive government and replace it with one which represents the popular will. Che's record was 1 for 3. Cuba being an unequivocal success, with the Congo less so, and Bolivia ending in his own death.

Some of his principles
Similar to Mao's treatise on guerrilla warfare, this one provides more pragmatic considerations than something like Sun Tzu (but, then again, there's nothing quite like Master Sun).

This text includes a somewhat sympathetic introductory essay by a guy who advances a lukewarm critique of Guevara's foco theory of warfare, which is discredited by the mere fact of Guevara's death while enacting same in Bolivia. Fair enough.

The text itself of the *Guerrilla Warfare* is likewise accompanied by two essa
Nov 17, 2009 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
Many college kids have the classic image of Che Guevara either posted on their wall or t-shirt as a symbol of revolution and non-conformism, but few really know much about him. This book is his 1960 detailing of how to fight a populist guerrilla war against a powerful government. I got it while I was in Army basic training from the PX and my drill sergeants almost flipped out when the found it in my locker. It's more useful as an understanding of this type of warfare, than a how-to, though if yo ...more
Oct 27, 2015 Shaima rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
تعريف حرب الغوار/حرب العصابات: هي حرب غير تقليدية، بين مجموعات قتالية صغيرة مدعمة بتسليح أقل عدداً ونوعية وتتبع أسلوب المباغتة في القتال في معارك صغيرة ذات أهداف استراتيجية يحددون هم مكانها وزمانها بحيث يكون تأثيرها موجع للخصم. الهدف منها استبدال النظام القديم بشيء جديد. والاسم الأجنبي أصله إسباني ويعني الحرب الصغيرة.
يستعرض غيفارا في هذا الكتاب الصادر عام 1961 الدوافع، التكتيكات، والأهداف لحرب الغوار في أميركا اللاتينية مقدماً دراسة وتحليل للتجربة الكوبية (1959) وما ترتب عليها من نتائج إيجابية
Andy Carrington
My mate's Commie mum lent it some 6 years ago. I want it back...
Nick Black
Nov 27, 2008 Nick Black rated it it was ok
Read during my early teenage revolutionary days, and largely what put an end to them -- it became clear that revolution was a dirty, cold business most unlike a video game, largely the interest of people I'd likely despise and be despised by. I couldn't agree more with another reviewer -- this book is more of a historical relic than any relevant manual. I'd add, though, that it's important insight into the tumult of revolutionary Central and South America from the 50's through the 70's, and perh ...more
May 08, 2015 Tasfia rated it liked it
Well I kinda skim read it... BUT the parts that I did read were actually quite interesting.
I didn't know there were so many ways to plan surprise attacks, but now that I do... y'all better watch your back :P
Interesting as a historical document but kind of dry. It's mostly an instruction manual so it really doesn't make for good reading.
Oct 11, 2016 Chronics rated it liked it
This is a great complimentary book to Che Guevara Reminiscences of a Cuban War and for anyone who truly wants to understand Guevara's ideology and phycology. It discusses and tactics and strategies of Guerrila warfare in great detail, from the high level objectives to the practical day to day activities and nuisances. To the average reader it may seem slightly obscure if you are not engaged in a guerrilla war and many of the practical guides may seem slightly out of date (for example communicati ...more
Dec 09, 2016 Jean-Marie rated it it was ok
Mouais... capillitracté
David Ross
Sep 30, 2016 David Ross rated it really liked it
A fascinating insight into the ideology and tactics of the Cuban Revolution. Here, Guevara looks to inspire others to follow his lead using his experience as a starting point but now to the political scholar, the book takes on more historical interest than practical guide to insurrection. Of particular interest was the personalities that are required for the guerrilla lifestyle; the self sacrifice, iron will and resourcefulness that make for an effective, covert fighting force. Not just a milita ...more
Jun 05, 2015 Joseph rated it really liked it
He is ready to give his life, but the positive quality of this guerrilla warfare is precisely that each one of the guerrilla fighters is ready to die, not to defend an ideal, but rather the convert it to reality.

Guerrilla Warfare by Che Guevara is the book of standards and tactics for guerrilla warfare for the 1960s. Guevara needs no introduction. He is either loved or hated with very few people not taking sides.

Although dated in terms of weapons and the lay of the land after fifty years, the bo
Sep 27, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it
How do you rate this? the more I learn about Che the more clear his resolution, there is never a second's doubt
Jan 12, 2015 Roisin rated it really liked it
This book is a series of documents the first written in 1960, the last a pamphlet published in English a few months before Che Guevara was killed, a South American revolutionary and hero.

The book looks at guerrilla warfare in particular fighting in places of a similar landscape to South America and elsewhere. He talks about tactics and how to survive as a fighter which clearly comes from experience. He extols the rights of ordinary people to rule themselves and not to be lead by colonialists, wi
Lawrence Hung
Jun 11, 2015 Lawrence Hung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A short but deep book by an enigmatic and charismatic revolutionary leader of the world - Ernesto Guveara or Che by his nickname. In this book Che theorized the nature, strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare, and to an amazing degree, getting out some of the very details. For examples, the nature of the guerrilla warfare is one of the people that doesn't require all the revolutionary conditions ripe to fruition, that these conditions are but derived from the ongoing energy of guerrilla warfar ...more
Lawrence Hung
Jun 11, 2015 Lawrence Hung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A short but deep book by an enigmatic and charismatic revolutionary leader of the world - Ernesto Guveara or Che by his nickname. In this book Che theorized the nature, strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare, and to an amazing degree, getting out some of the very details. For examples, the nature of the guerrilla warfare is one of the people that doesn't require all the revolutionary conditions ripe to fruition, that these conditions are but derived from the ongoing energy of guerrilla warfar ...more
Matthew Lloyd
Nov 18, 2015 Matthew Lloyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic, non-fiction
I'm not really sure how effective a review I can write of this book - I am neither an expert on Cuba nor Communism, and my expertise on warfare is so far detached from Che Guevara's that it is impossible to judge on that basis either. I can say that, personally, I got more out of this book in 2015 than I did out of Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary when I read it in 2009. I think I should re-read Che's diaries at some point, too.

I was struck by the apparent usefulness of the book as a m
Feb 18, 2012 Simon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Those with an academic interest in guerrilla warfare or Latin American history would do well to seek out the Loveman-Davies edition of this book. It includes not only the original (English-translated) text of "Guerrilla Warfare," but also two later essays that show Guevara's progression from an essentially "people's war" theorist to his better-known theory of "foco" (small-unit) guerrilla warfare.

But the real value of this edition lies with the numerous case studies that Loveman & Davies hav
Tom Darrow
I appreciate both the history and timeliness of this book. Che was an influential player in the Cuban Revolution as well as other conflicts of the Cold War. Additionally, his tactics seem to be increasingly used by terrorist organizations today. There is definitely something to be learned here by both historians and the current community.

Major flaws. First is in editing. There are lots of flaws here. A few minor translation issues, some formatting issues (ex. random numbers appearing in the midd
Doug Peterson
Apr 02, 2013 Doug Peterson rated it liked it
Worth reading, to dispel the myth from reality. Turns out Che was a purist of sorts, but didn't follow his own advice.
On one hand, he did not thrive on violence; he fomented revolution, but did seek to minimize killing.
- opposed to terrorism (rarely proportional benefit for the costs incurred), but a great proponent of sabotage. Primary target: communications, and lines of communication. Two categories: National- must be strategic target, and only at the right time. Other category was more tacti
Feb 05, 2016 Conor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is what it is. It's a handbook outlining the tactics of guerrilla warfare in 1950s and 60s South America. It attempts to outline tactics that apply to other conditions, but it openly acknowledges that it cannot be taken as a bible. There's no possible way to argue with the quality of *that* particular section, because it's simply a recounting of the tactics employed during a nonfiction, historical event.

However, what can be reviewed is the additional content at the back of the book, namely
Oct 18, 2008 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, movement
Che's manual on guerrilla warfare is more of a historical relic than a pragmatic or philosophical work at this point. The book was written for a very specific purpose, which has little bearing on the situation in the US right now.

Nevertheless there are some interesting concepts and strategic lessons here.

For example, the "seven golden rules" could be applied creatively and nonviolently in many situations:

1. Do not engage in a fight that cannot be won.
2. Move continuously, hit and run.
3. Use the
Dennis Cassidy
Mar 04, 2008 Dennis Cassidy rated it liked it
Che Guevara is great, and this book does offer insight into the mind of the communist revolutionary. This is good to read if you aren't familiar with the Cuban revolution and are swayed by the bullshit floating around the US airways (such as calling Che a "terrorist," even though strategically they were recruiting the villagers that the Cuban military was terrorizing).

However, this book really could have used a ghost writer. It's repetitive (the phrase "avoid encirclement" must be used 100 times
Dec 28, 2010 BGP rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Guerrilla Warfare is sure to be a very handy primer for rural (as opposed to urban) guerrillas, but, for the rest of us, it is nothing more than a highly readable primary source on rural revolutionary tactics and strategy. Readers who are interested in Che's personal take on the Cuban Revolution should instead look for a copy of Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War, and those who are interested in the life of Che himself should pick up one of Che's more reputable biographies, be it Jon L ...more
Dan Santos
Aug 06, 2013 Dan Santos rated it did not like it
To the trained military person, this sort of manual is very disappointing. First of all it is almost entirely plagiarized from Mao; not that Mao was such a great writer. Suffice it to say that Ernesto Che Guevara could not possibly give credence to the principles he was trying to teach in this book. He was killed defying the very premise to which he subscribed: guerilla warfare, for it to be victorious, must be waged by the indigenous populace. Guevara defied this principle by waging guerrilla w ...more
Tim O'Hearn
I really enjoyed imaging how these tactics and ideals may apply to modern insurgencies. Fifty years later, the epilogue's argument against "monopolistic" capitalism is sure to fall on deaf ears. It was much easier to understand Che Guevara's immortalization after reading The Motorcycle Diaries than this book. The amount of synonyms he uses in place of "unsuspectingly killing someone in cold blood" is telling of just how horrific that period of time in Latin America was. I'd say the book is a bit ...more
Apr 19, 2007 Gustavo rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone interested in cuban history
I found this book to hold both philosophical significance as well as historical insight into the emergence of the Cuban revolution. More than anything it was an instruction manual for guerrilla warfare based on the actual experience of Che and the Cuban revolutionaries. In that sense its transformed into a history book. It takes you through their practical fighting strategies but also to the beginnings of a socialist society as they begin to establish cooperatives in their war industry. What I m ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Olethros rated it liked it
-Tanto el contenido como la propia obra son productos de su tiempo, pero se siguen revisando.-

Género. Ensayo.

Lo que nos cuenta. Manual sobre guerra de guerrillas que analiza el fenómeno desde las perspectivas de su tiempo, tanto a nivel estratégico como táctico, el despliegue en territorios amistosos u hostiles, su organización y un análisis de la situación en la Cuba del tiempo del autor y su visión sobre posible evolución del entorno.

¿Quiere saber más del libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

Aug 22, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and outdated book on resisting an organized army as part of a liberation struggle. Read this book and you will know:

* Why the cobbler is the most important member of the armed struggle

* Why discipline is the most important aspect of the guerilla fighter

* Why respect for women is essential to a successful revolution

* How to properly praise Fidel Castro

* What it was like for a Central American band of guerillas in the middle of the 20th century

* Why bullets are ultimately more impor
Apr 25, 2013 Don rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One part pop-culture Marxism, one part "Ranger Rick's Tips, Tricks, and Info." The most ham-handed, junior varsity version of how to conduct guerrilla warfare ever. The only reason these guys won in Cuba was the singular incompetence of Fulgencio Batista. As Che would find out the hard way, the Foco was not a universal method. It also violated the Maoist method, which might be universal. In the end, by applying the methods herein, Che was hunted down and killed by the weakest state in South Amer ...more
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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
More about Ernesto Che Guevara...

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“the guerrilla fighter is a social reformer, that he takes up arms responding to the angry protest of the people against their oppressors, and that he fights in order to change the social system that keeps all his unarmed brothers in ignominy and misery.” 1 likes
“It is necessary to distinguish clearly between sabotage, a revolutionary and highly effective method of warfare, and terrorism, a measure that is generally ineffective and indiscriminate in its results, since it often makes victims of innocent people and destroys a large number of lives that would be valuable to the revolution.” 1 likes
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