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Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  94 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In 1960, Cuban photographer Alberto Korda captured fabled revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara in what has become history's most reproduced photo. Now Michael Casey tells the remarkable story of this image, detailing its evolution from a casual snapshot to an omnipresent graphic—plastered on everything from T-shirts to vodka to condoms—and into a copyrighted brand. As Casey ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Vintage
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Che Guevara by Jon Lee AndersonThe Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che GuevaraGuerrilla Warfare by Ernesto Che GuevaraThe Bolivian Diary by Ernesto Che GuevaraChe Guevara Speaks by Ernesto Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara
11th out of 32 books — 34 voters
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Books About Cuba/Cubans
35th out of 120 books — 81 voters

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Sep 01, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing
This a fascinating, thoughtful and insightful study of "Guerrillero Heroico," the famous photograph of Che Guevara taken by Alberto Korda on March 5, 1960. Without ever losing sight of the political and ideological ironies underpinning the legacy of the photo, Michael Casey has developed a clear-eyed narrative of the photo's cultural history; including its uses as propaganda, art, intellectual property, spiritual talisman and a conveyor of sacred values.

Shelved appropriately in the "Cultural Stu
Dec 09, 2015 Kms is currently reading it
Author: Are you a fan of Che personally?
Salesman: Yes, he sells well.
Is this ridiculous? As a iconically hero who fought for destruction of the capitalist system, his images is now a participant in that system.
Aug 24, 2009 Scott rated it liked it
Michael Casey has an interesting idea here: basically, a biography of an image, in this case the Alberto Korda photograph of Che Guevera, which, in its many guises, could be the single most reproduced image in the world. Casey is strong on why the image serves so well as "branding" for so many different types of groups, usually revolutionary of some sort, but often with completely different values and tactics than Che espoused. Less effective are his inevitable, too long and lacking any real ins ...more
Jason S
Feb 01, 2016 Jason S rated it liked it
some interesting sections, but much of it was about Korda (who took the photo) and many long tangential anecdotes
If you want to know who the heck that guy is that you see everywhere, and why you see it everywhere - this might be the book you're looking for. The author take a good try at examining the extent to which the Che image is used, what it means, and who has the rights to use it in those manners. The analysis is a bit dense in some places, but at least Casey is giving the reader something to chew on.

[My star rating is based upon how well I think the author researched and analyzed Che's image - not
Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it really liked it
The long, strange afterlife of the 1960 Alberto Korda photograph, on protest banners, t-shirts, designer t-shirts outlined in sequins, in Mexican liquor ads, framed by coca leaves in Evo Morales' office, as Jesus, burned in effigy in Miami, tattoos, as the subject of copyright suits by Korda and Che's bands of pro and anti-Castro children and as tourist industry.
Aug 10, 2009 Reverenddave rated it liked it
It had its moments and it wasnt badly done, but I am not Noah and just couldnt maintain my interest in the backstory of brand establishment, even a brand as interesting and ubiquitous as this.
Dec 18, 2009 kasia rated it it was amazing
Absolutely riveting. Occasionally a little cliche, but overall, a really fascinating account of history, both of the image, the man, and several Latin American countries - especially Cuba.
Sep 26, 2009 John rated it really liked it
Started off slow and got better at the end as the author stopped reciting facts and started discussing personalities and making observations.
May 13, 2009 Kevin rated it it was ok
Much more than you ever wanted to know about the iconic photograph of Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
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A native of Perth, Western Australia, Michael Casey is a managing editor at Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal in New York, where he specializes in global financial markets.
Casey is the author of two books. His first, Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image, is a history of and cultural commentary on Alberto Korda's famous image of Che Guevara, the world's most reproduced photographic image. I
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