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Guerrilla Warfare

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,833 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
This indispensable book includes three of Che Guevara’s most influential essays describing his tactical philosophy of fighting a guerrilla war in Latin America. Guerrilla Warfare, written in 1960, outlines Guevara’s doctrine for guerrilla fighters, especially against Caribbean-style dictatorships. In Guerrilla Warfare: A Method (1963) and Message to the Tricontinental (196 ...more
Paperback, 175 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Bison Books (first published 1960)
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Jun 05, 2015 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
As out of date as this book is, it is still of use for a historical and psychological look at the tactics of the guerrilla warrior.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
Oct 16, 2011 sologdin rated it it was ok
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
May 08, 2015 Tasfia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nick Black
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
Feb 05, 2016 Conor rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 12, 2015 Roisin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Interesting as a historical document but kind of dry. It's mostly an instruction manual so it really doesn't make for good reading.
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
Feb 18, 2012 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Doug Peterson
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
Jul 28, 2015 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this as research for my new novel idea. Enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Guevara was obviously a brilliant man, and he's a very competent writer. He lays out very clear ideas and processes for conducting a guerilla war against an oppressive government. He's surprisingly thorough. I really enjoyed how much he stressed the importance of shoes. Don't mess with a guerilla's shoes.

Of course, now that I've downloaded this to my Kindle, I'm probably on an NSA list somewhere.
Oct 20, 2014 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple but not outstanding, uilding alot on Tzun zu, move like fish among fishes,
alot of ideas that doesnt get straightened out fully, more of people managing in the field then of actually small groups tactic, more over basic strategic thinking for a geurilla hearts and minds then a insurgency operation

worth reading, but remember he died chased down by Bolivian & u.s special forces...
Oct 27, 2014 Troy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Che Guevara was an incredibly intelligent man and learned the art of guerrilla warfare being a guerrilla. He spent most of his adult life in pursuit of the perfect guerrilla war which ultimately led to his death. This is a great read for any student of Latin America, especially one that specializes in the many revolutions that have transpired in this region. Anyone studying modern insurgency warfare would do well to read this in combination with Mao's The Art of War. I also recommend it for anyo ...more
Mohamad Dahrouj
كتاب قديم الطراز يعالج في قسمه الاول الحرب الثورية او حرب العصابات مرتكزا علی التجربة الكوبية التي هو احد ابطالها.
ويدخل في تفاصيل مملة عفا عليها الزمن . اما القسم الثاني فهو عبارة عن مقالات متبعثرة لا رابط بينها .
في الكتاب بعض الأفكار المفيدة لكنها قليلة نسبة لحجم الكتاب ونسبة لاسم الكاتب الكبير.
قد يكون تغير الزمان وكذلك الجغرافيا وطبيعة السكان وتطور السلاح ووفرته اثر علی القدرة من الاستفادة من هذا الكتاب .
Dennis Cassidy
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
Oct 18, 2008 Alex rated it liked it
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
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
Doc Ahmad
Nov 10, 2015 Doc Ahmad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب جيد جدا .. خاصة عندما يأتي الحديث لغيفارا فقد كان قائدا ميدانيا في حرب كوبا ..
فالكلمة عندما تأتي منه تكون لها تأثير كبير ...
Jun 24, 2015 Milan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great if you actually want to start a Guerilla war. Otherwise, not incredibly interesting. It is very practical.
Dan Santos
Aug 06, 2013 Dan Santos rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
-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:

Arjun Chandrasekhar
Could be described as a handbook to guerrilla warfare. Gives A to Z lessons on how to begin,organize and wage a guerrilla warfare. I must admit that the book is a compilation of the so called Guerrilla tactics which are completely irrelevant and useless in the present scenario. One can also find heavy doses of Marxism protruding out even in lines of technical description. this book can't be perfect, for if it were how did che got executed by a drunken Bolivian army man(he could have implemented ...more
Apr 19, 2007 Gustavo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Fabio Molinari
Jul 27, 2014 Fabio Molinari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ottima guida, peccato per chi vive nella pianura padana
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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