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The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty (Independent Studies in Political Economy) [Kindle Edition]

Alvaro Vargas Llosa
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nearly four decades after his death, the legend of Che Guevara has grown worldwide. In this new book, Alvaro Vargas Llosa separates the myth from the reality of Che's legacy, and shows that Che's ideals were a re-hash of notions about centralized power that have long been the major source of suffering and misery in the underdeveloped world. With testimonies from witnesses of Che's actions, Alberto Vargas Llosa's detailed account of the "real Che" sets the record straight by exposing the delusion at the heart of the Che phenomenon. Vargas Llosa shows that Che's legacy—making the law subservient to the most powerful, crushing any and all dissent, and concentrating wealth under the guise of "social equality"—is not the solution to poverty and injustice but is the core of the problem.

Besides exposing the dark truths of Che's ideology and actions, The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty elaborates on attempts by both the left and right to suppress liberty and examines the manifestation of Latin American spirit throughout the ages, from early indigenous trade to today's enterprising communities overcoming government impediments. In so doing, the book points to the real revolution among the poor—the liberation of individuals from the constraints of state power in all spheres, public and private.

Whether you love or hate Che, The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty will not leave you untouched and will provide a powerful, new perspective on how to overcome the challenges facing the Third World.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alvaro Vargas Llosa is the director of the Center on Global Prosperity at The Independent Institute, the coauthor of The Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot, and the author of Liberty for Latin America.

Product Details

  • File Size: 284 KB
  • Print Length: 94 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1598130056
  • Publisher: Independent Institute; annotated edition edition (January 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B6081PE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #345,296 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two good books in one June 13, 2006
This slim volume by the son of Mario Vargas Llosa is really two books in one, though it's divided into three parts. The first part, which will sell this book to a large audience, is a debunking of the romanticism of Latin America's most celebrated thug. This is a very useful and worthy bit of work, though it could benefit from more depth, since Che left plenty of evidence of his depravity and the depravity of his ideology to draw upon.

The second and third parts are a discussion of Latin America's economic and political problems, from a very broad perspective. Unfortunately, the author does not connect the problems or his solutions to Che terribly well - while any serious person would realize that Che wasn't fighting to overthrow the system of privilege and pull endemic to Latin America, but merely to replace the people in charge with his own people, the second part of the book doesn't make much effort to draw a connection between the persistence of Latin American mercantilism and the pseudo-revolution promoted by Che and his admirers.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but "Che" is not there September 19, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a Latin-American, I very much enjoyed the book. Some of the ideas expressed were interesting and I agree with, some don't. But the main intention in buying the book was to learn more about "Che", and my surprise was that "Che" was not there. He was present in less than a third of the book, in a excessive "compressed" way, and it even wasn't the most interesting part of the book. It looked more as a "bait" to get more people into buying the book. As I said, is a good book, but if you are looking for "Che", he will not be there.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Theoretical and not for everyone. August 2, 2006
First off, this is a very short book (79 pages). The first chapter deals with the life of Che Guevara. Che since his death has become a legend. The reality of his life are blood stained hands. Che executed a lot of people. This happened both during the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath. Che was not someone you would want your daughter or sister dating. He was a killer, but somehow his persona has assumed the legend of underdog and hero.

The following two chapters talks on how Latin America has been mismanaged economically and politically since independence. Both the left and right have instituted statist economies in their countries. The rule of the strongman has corrupted the political system. Corruption and the lack of followed laws has also undermined the capitalistic system in Latin countries. Few countries (except for a brief time Argentina) have followed the course of capitalism. The result are very poor countries with a small elite controlling the resources. These chapters relate how following a capitalistic economy these countries would not be poor and mismanaged.

The writing on these final two chapters are pretty heavy. This is not for everyone. The one chapter on Che was an enticement to read the following two chapters. That is why this book is not for everyone.
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35 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but I'm still searching. September 22, 2006
It shouldn't be too hard to find a book that is critical of a loser like Ernesto Guevara, but it is. This book finally counters much of the romantic clap-trap that exists about the murderous, anti-freedom, hate-filled hypocrite, but it's certainly not ideal. I'd like more info abot his life and his work and his "teachings" overall, but most of the more exhaustive biographies are stricly the aforementioned sentimental clap-trap. This book is a little too short and branches out into areas I'm not really interested in, but it gets 4 stars simply for being a good attempt and the FIRST attempt at honesty regarding this horrible man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than expected!! June 6, 2014
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I'd wanted to read this book for a long time, but hesitated because I was unfamiliar with the author, and somewhat disinterested in it's focus on the socio-political-economic issues of South/Central America. But what a pleasant surprise!! The author is not only well read and brilliant, but a very lucid and concise writer, making the book a pleasure to read, and enlightening as well. It's an eye openeing expose of Che Guevara, and what's more, Vargas Losa's outlook and conclusions are very prinipled and applicable to North America, or any continent on earth. I highly recommend this quick and pleasurable read to everyone!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very disjointed book! May 25, 2014
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As others here have said, first part of book dealing with the myth of Che was interesting. Second part launches into a very dry exposition on South American culture and politics which I'm sure the author felt was relevant and may have been fascinating to academics who study this sort of thing, but it felt like a totally different book. I lost interest almost immediately at that point. Very strange!
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Other Che August 23, 2014
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Interesting read to contradict the usual fallacious whitewash written about Che. Not too well written. A bit disjointed. I'll need to buy and read the other critical Che biography. Evidently there are only two as far as I could find. Sad that this guy is still pawned off on many as a hero.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Myth
As Vargas Llosa mentioned in the title about the myth, is not a different biography, is the same. The geopolitical and economic emphasis is really interesting for those recalling... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The fault with Latin America lies not with Che
Be warned: This is not a book about Che Guevara, a romantic who never learned that "revolutions" only change the name on the letterhead, not any basic values. Read more
Published on December 30, 2010 by Theodore A. Rushton
3.0 out of 5 stars Vargas Llosa: The Che Guevara Myth
This is a short and sweet two books in one, though it's divided into four chapters. The first part is a debunking of the romantic myth of the 20th century most photogenic murderer-... Read more
Published on May 28, 2010 by Gus Venegas
4.0 out of 5 stars An overview of latin american politics and economy
This is a well researched and thoughtful critique of problems with government in Latin America and a good insight of what the future of big government may hold for the west. Read more
Published on September 6, 2008 by J. C. Orvis
3.0 out of 5 stars Too little, too late.
As other reviewers have pointed out, the book prominently displays Che on the cover but precious little information about his life. Read more
Published on February 11, 2008 by William
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but wish it was longer.
I wish the first chapter was expanded into a full-length critique of Che.
Published on January 2, 2007 by Michael
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More About the Author

Alvaro Vargas LLosa is a non-fiction writer and journalist. He was born in Peru in 1966 and lives in Washington DC. He writes in Spanish and English, and his books have been published in several languages. He also authored a documentary series on Latin American contemporary history for National Geographic that has been shown in some 100 countries. He has won numerous awards and was nominated Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is a Senior Fellow of the Independent Institute and a champion of classical liberal ideas.

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