The cover of Jon Lee Anderson's biography Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life features a familiar image of the mythic revolutionary. Banners and newspapers across the island of Cuba are trumpeting 1997 as "the year of the 30th anniversary of the death in combat of the heroic guerrilla and his comrades." And while his popularity contin ...more
This biography combines several approaches to history in one. In the first section, Anderson provides vivid details of Che's early life, his love of literature and learni ...more
-Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s last words* (Anderson, 1991:735)
Ernesto 'Che' Guevara de la Serna
Those words make me shudder. And one will wonder, who this man is, that in his irrepressible idealism enlivened in clandestine activities and political conspiracies, dare deprive death of his satisfaction, for indeed decades later, Comandante Che, is now heroically revered.
Born Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, Che Guevara, was, unlike the ideology he died for ...more
The important thing for me was that Anderson showed us both sides of the man. His other-worldly drive for justice and solidarity, but also his cold-blooded ruthlessness and obsession for discipline. I firmly think he is one of th ...more
What I loved about this book was not only the lens on the fascinating history of Che's life and especially the Cuban revolution, but the dozens of journal excerpts from Ch ...more
A side note: my used copy had annotations throughout the first 200 pages - entirely critical comments: 'bum', 'dumbass', etc. That is not the point of a biography, to confirm your own prejudices. It is to form a portrait of a man's life to analyze and learn from.
The great historical tragedy surrounding the legacy of Che Guevara is that man who was nothing but completely and utterly sincere has become a symbol of insincerity. I'm not sure if this was always the case, but at least when I see people of my generation wearing a Che shirt or displaying a Che poster, I no longer see the famous Korda photograph of Guevara, I see the words "I am a giant poser" tattooed in bold relief on that persons face. There may be people who are sincere in their admiration,...more
What really motivated me to finally sit down and read this book was something I saw in a Chinese restaurant about two or three months ago. I was sitting in the restaurant, waiting for my food when a twelve-year-old kid came in, wearing a Che Guevara shirt. I wondered if the kid even knew anyth ...more
This is his legacy.And the proof is, every time we witness a social movement or demonstration any where in the world, his ever famous portrait hangs HIGH.
They tried so hard to smear his character but to no avail. A man who lead by example. A man who p ...more
Also, in USA, we tend to only hear about Che and Castro through the anti-Communist, Cold War Era lens. I also learned a lot about communism and its implementation in various countries throughout the world.
It took me a whi ...more
It i ...more
A great part of the book is dedicated to the Cuban revolution and to Che's role in Cuban politics and diplomacy. And this is completely understandable as his fame is related to Cuba although he was an Argentinian.
Lack of knowledge regarding Cuba's history may lead to underestimating the ...more
This books was thoroughly researched and showed both the great attributes of the man and the extreme views he held. It was also interesting to read about Che as a father, husband and son because I think it is forgotten that those close to him seemed to have to acc ...more
(Last time I felt like this upon finished reading was Ramachandra Guha's majestic volume India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy) such was the powerful feeling.
A Book of this magnitude (in terms of its size, knowledge/information & inspiration/ influence??) definitely demands a comprehensive review (or is it more of my personal notes?)
Review coming very soon.
1) Journalists are important
2) As are Economists. Cuba could have benefited tremendously from the free operation of both.
3) Place and time matter for any revolutionary. Che could have benefited from acknowledging this.
4) No one should want anyone to read their private diaries, because said diary scribe sounds like an a-hole. Sorry, Che. It's true.
It contains four major subjects.
1. Life and death of Che Guevara, both personal and as revolutionary.
2. Cuban Revolution and it's subsequent survival.
3. The rise of Fidel 'Giant' Castro as a great political and military leader.
4. Overall view of Latin American politics and revolutionary activities headed by Cuba.
When I finished the ...more
It's not that it is a poorly written book. Far from it. Jon Lee Anderson does a remarkable job of putting together so many sources to form a very complete picture of Che Guevara.
Mr. Anderson is wonderfully professional in regards to journalistic integrity. You can tell he's an edu ...more
Whereas Che in my opinion is the most beautiful, ingenious, and inspirational political figure to have ever lived, ...more
When you write a review on a book like this, you must wonder? How do you write about a man that has become emblematic of revolutions around the world? How do you recognise fault in am man who when paraded dead was said to look like Jesus? How must especially do you capture ...more
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atrocities perpetrated against Argentina’s native
Indians by Juan Manuel de Rosas, had predicted
that “the country will be in the hands of white
Gaucho savages instead of copper-coloured Indians.
The former being a little superior in education,
as they are inferior in every moral virtue.”