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Exposing the Real Che Guevara: And the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him Hardcover – April 19, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC; annotated edition edition (April 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230270
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fontova gets right to the work of debunking familiar notions of Argentinan revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevera; by the end of the preface, he's pinned 14,000 executions on Guevera and credited positive portrayals to the public relations work of Castro and the laziness of biographers. The critical attack continues throughout, combining the testimonies of former revolutionaries and Cuban refugees to assemble a damning portrait of a man lauded by everyone from Jean-Paul Sartre to Jon Lee Anderson. According to Fontova, the real Che was "a revolutionary Ringo Starr" who "fell in with the right bunch and rode their coattails to world fame." Presenting a failed physician, an inept guerrilla and a hapless sycophant, Fontova adds insult to injury by claiming Che was "deathly afraid to drive a motorcycle." Fontova's charged language keeps things interesting, if occasionally dubious; midway through the book, after asserting that Che enjoyed killing dogs, Fontova concedes that, "You might put down your book here and think, this has to be propaganda." Though propaganda probably colors any consideration of this controversial figure, Fontova makes a convincing case that, in the words of one former political prisoner, "There was something seriously wrong with Che Guevera."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Humberto Fontova, who left Cuba in 1961 at age seven, has written for several conservative magazines and is the author of Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant. He has appeared on many radio and television shows and is active in the Cuban American community.

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Customer Reviews

I don't know if it is available in English, though.
McClane
The truth really is being kept from you, but it is the mainstream media that is doing the hiding.
a writer
Humberto Fontova has done a masterful work in exposing the real Che.
Jack Kettler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

383 of 495 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am always amazed when I see the faces of Mao or Che Guevara on clothing or posters by those free spirits who imagine that these men would do anything but kill them for their social and political views. On page 16 of this book the author recounts how Henry Gomez made a t-shirt to counter all the "Che Lives" shirts floating around. His said "Che's Dead - Get Over It". Carlos Santana saw it and came over to berate him (never mind that Santata's brand of music was banned in Cuba by Guevara). Santata said, "Che may be dead for you, but he lives in our hearts ... Che is all about love and compassion." They then exchanged points. Santata's were based on fantasy and Gomez in fact. In the end, Santana said what one would expect, "You're getting hung up on facts, man." Wow.

This book recounts Che's murderous role in the deaths of more than 10,000 people after the Cuban revolution. Just one story of horror involves a mother pleading for the life of her boy directly in front of Che. He listened, thought, and then picked up the phone and shouted a command for the boy to be taken out and shot immediately. He had no respect for the law. It was a bourgeois detail that impeded the revolution. When one official pleaded for a trial before a sentence of death was passed, Che shouted that the man could conduct his trial tomorrow, but that the execution had to be conducted tonight. Even when there were trials, they were just for show with the sentences already noted on the form prior to the trail. There is much of this.

That so many on the left, including many American media outlets (such as the New York Times, Time Magazine, Life, and many others), helped Castro and Che come to power should still be a matter of shame, but is never mentioned anymore.
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107 of 139 people found the following review helpful By B. Wilfong on July 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"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 disingenuous reviewers on this site, to distort the book by attacking his obvious emotional bent without touching on the truth in this book. For the most part Fontova substantiates most of what he says, and some of it is truly shocking. Still, I keep coming back to my desire for a more scholarly approach to this text. The book suffers from redundancy and that again takes away from his thesis. This text is imminently readable, which I think accounts for some of the author's simplistic style choices, and I hope it serves as a jumping off point for even more scholarly research into the joke that is the myth of Che Guevara.
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280 of 369 people found the following review helpful By Joe on April 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dear Humberto,

Sorry I didn't buy your new book. Yesterday I read

about half of of it sitting in the coffee shop of my

local bookstore. Cheapness was instilled in me during

my formative years by my chinese parents. Fortunately,

their political leanings were not and I learned to

read, think, and analyze for myself.

Thank You for writing the book! Even though it's about

Che and Cuba, it means a lot to me as well--a

Chinese-American. Any book against one dictator is a

book against ALL dictators. I imagine you must feel

the same rage seeing a Che T-shirt as I do seeing a

Mao T-shirt. It bothers me that many people do not

think twice about wearing either T-shirt, but if

somebody wore a T-shirt with the visage of Hitler,

Stalin, bin Laden, or that Virginia Tech guy it'd be

all over the news.

I don't want to be a "woe is me I'm a minority/person

of color", but unfortunately part of me does feel when

it's whites killing whites (ie Hitler, Stalin) then

those dictators are evil. When it comes to "minority"

dictators, those guys are suave, cute, cuddly, or part

of "other people's" cultures. What? Dictators are

dictators regardless of country, race, culture, or

faith.

Keep up the good work! You've given me courage now to

voice my opinion. When I see someone wearing a Mao

(and Che) T-shirt I'll be sure to set them

straight. Those images are just as offensive as the

Confederate flag or a Nazi symbol.
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68 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Pops on August 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As I began this book, I thought that Fontova was ranting a bit much for my tastes, while painting a rough picture of Che. I read Fontova's account of his family's escape from Cuba and saw that this colored his view of things to some degree. By the end, I was right there with Fontova, as the evidence became clearer and clearer that Che was a sick man who took pleasure in killing (according to his own hand, in a letter to his father). He was a man who was only brave when his opponents were defenseless.

Some basic points of background:
1) The hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees were not fleeing a kindly ruler, nor were they all wealthy. Dismissing their ire at Castro and Che -- and their eyewitness accounts of their brutalities -- is equivalent to dismissing the anger that Poles or German Jews reserve for Nazis.

2) The glowing portrayals of Che are based on Castro-produced stories, Che's own delusional diaries, and the fawning of Che's buddies like Sartre. Would we only consult the North Korean propaganda ministry for a biography of Kim Jong Il? Eyewitness accounts of Che's murderous ways are not hard to find.

This book used a fair amount of second hand sources, but Fontova also included numerous stirring accounts from eyewitnesses that really makes it impossible to believe that anyone would consider Che Guevara to be admirable in any way.
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