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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

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  329 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
The perfect conservative contrast to the upcoming movie about Che.

Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the mainstream media celebrate Ernesto ?Che? Guevara as a saint, a sex symbol, and a selfless martyr. But their ideas about Che ? whose face adorns countless T-shirts and posters ? are based on the lies of Fidel Castro?s murderous dictatorship.

Che?s hipster fans are classic ?u
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Sentinel (first published 2007)
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Andres
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
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Phillip
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Carlos Mendoza
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Anthony
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
Varmint
Oct 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Abigail
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Don Incognito
Oct 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Nocheevo
Aug 04, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cindy
Aug 04, 2011 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
J Aurelius
Dec 30, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Bliss Tew
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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Kelsey
Oct 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elyse
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
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Jeff
Dec 13, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While the idolization of Che Guevara is a complete joke, the author's transparent hatred makes the book far too slanted to take seriously.
Travis
May 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a while ago and am just reviewing it now - this is pop-culture product (non-academic), so you have to go into it with those expectations. I wasn't apart of the generation that grew up with Che, but I was interested in seeing what the fascination was about (in my 7 years of college, I never saw a single student on our campus wearing a Che t-shirt). One has to take books like this with a gram of salt - I don't think Che was a saint, and it seems likely he committed many horrendous and ...more
Nick Wallace
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
Andy
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Malison
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Azaghedi
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Gregory Dilcox
Jun 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Brian
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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Ron
May 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Curtis Smothers
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jason King
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
MrsRK
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. Fontova is extremely articulate and experienced the horrors of Cuba. This is a must read and I would also recommend The Black Book of Communism, Liberal Fascism, Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro, Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro's Gulag, and The Black Book of the American Left. You can see and hear the monster talking about the summary execution the Carnicero de la La Cabaña and his acolytes perpetrated in ...more
Felipe Costa
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O livro é muito bom e felizmente acaba com uma série de mitos criados sobre a vida do psicopata Che Guevara. Além de conter uma série de homenagens as pessoas que foram executadas pelo regime cubano, sem direito a julgamento, e aos que lutaram pela liberdade de cuba (na Baía dos Porcos e nas resistências camponesas) o livro possui uma crítica séria a política externa do governo JFK sobre Cuba e alerta que a eleiçao de Nixon, em 1960, poderia ter mudado o rumo da história latina. O autor também c ...more
Emtee
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
More about Humberto Fontova...
“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.” 4 likes
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