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on 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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on September 19, 2007
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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on August 23, 2014
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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on June 23, 2015
Excellent book summarizing the Communist ideology of Che Guevara to include two essays bringing light to how Latin America was so easily influenced by Godless Humanist Ideologies that oppress and enslave them.
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on May 25, 2014
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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VINE VOICEon 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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on 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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on June 6, 2014
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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on May 28, 2010
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- Che Guevara- thru an analytical essay of his behavior during the Cuban revolution, where it seemed that one dictatorship was replaced by a more oppressive one that centralized more the economic and political control of the country. Che's taste for violence are portrayed throughout the book, particularly the executions of many Cubans in the early years of the Revolution, including the teenager Ariel Lima. He also seemed to enjoy the media's fascination with him, particularly when telling a British newsman after the Missile Crisis: "If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all." Vargas Llosa goes on to discuss the caudillismo political culture professed by Che and others in Latin America and the ensuing centralization of government and corrupt favoritism that led us to folks like Fidel Castro, Augusto Pinochet, and Hugo Chavez- resulting in hampering the political and economic development of many Latin American countries
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on August 10, 2014
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 the subject.
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