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Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life Paperback – March 9, 1997
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All in all this is a very thought provoking and readable book about a most uncommon human being.
The author clearly is a sympathizer and proponent of Che Guevara and presents his facts in that light, painting Che as a true hero. That said, it's not difficult to see through his obvious bias, as he does present a lot factually-based anecdotal information from which the reader can draw his or her own conclusions.
I doubt that anyone who chooses to read this book, or any book about Che's life for that matter, doesn't begin with some predisposition about him as a hero or a cowardly murdering mercenary. I'm finding the author's portrayal of him to be very conflicting in a lot of instances. For example, he's clear in his depiction of Che's intense hatred for the USA because of their "intervention" into Latin America and its politics. And yet that's exactly what Che did in Guatemala, Cuba and other Latin American countries to whom he was just as much an outsider. But apparently his cause is considered by those who support his revolutionary activities as a just means to a noble end. But, conversely, those who saw Communism at that same time as a world-wide threat, and took decisive action to stop those threats, are instead seen as imperialistic meddlers and invaders. It kind of reminds me of those who continue to support Bill Ayers and his so-called counter-culture activities with the Weather Underground, which despite his claims to the contrary, clearly led to the murder of at least one police officer. To them (and to him) I'd ask how is what Bill Ayers did any different than what Charles Manson did (i.e., incite people to go out and murder in the name of some perceived just cause)? Bill Ayers says his cause only promoted property damage activities; it was not about murder. So if you plant an explosive under someone's vehicle to destroy it, and someone happens to get killed in the process, that doesn't count as murder? I don't see what Che did as much different. The end he envisioned, and the cause to reach that end, just didn't justify the means.
All of that said, I'm finding the book to be very interesting and very easy reading. It's a tome (over 800 pages) so be prepared to spend a lot of time with it. And it really has given me a much better insight into who Che really was. I'm learning things I never really knew about him. No question, he was an incredible human being, who's heart appeared to be in the right place. He was a true champion for the working-class people, the proletariat as Marx called them. And he was clearly an extremely intelligent person. Perhaps my view of Che will change more in his favor by the time I finish the book. Either way, at this point I'm convinced that anyone who has any strong feelings, one way or the other, about Che Guevara, absolutely should read this book.