Companero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara

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9780679440345: Companero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara

By the time he was killed in the jungles of Bolivia, where his body was displayed like a deposed Christ, Ernesto "Che" Guevara had become a synonym for revolution everywhere from Cuba to the barricades of Paris. This extraordinary biography peels aside the veil of the Guevara legend to reveal the charismatic, restless man behind it.

Drawing on archival materials from three continents and on interviews with Guevara's family and associates, Castaneda follows Che from his childhood in the Argentine middle class through the years of pilgrimage that turned him into a committed revolutionary. He examines Guevara's complex relationship with Fidel Castro, and analyzes the flaws of character that compelled him to leave Cuba and expend his energies, and ultimately his life, in quixotic adventures in the Congo and Bolivia. A masterpiece of scholarship, Companero is the definitive portrait of a figure who continues to fascinate and inspire the world over.
From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish

From Kirkus Reviews:

In the second Guevara biography this year (after John Lee Anderson's Che Guevara, p. 343), chronicler of the Latin American left Casta¤eda (Political Science/New York Univ.) distinguishes himself from other biographers by stripping Guevara of myths while bowing to his role as the principal icon of the '60s. Despite the left leanings of his grandmother and mother, Guevara developed his political views slowly as an outgrowth of his sense of outrage at the conditions and treatment of the poor he witnessed throughout the region. Although disgusted with the US- backed ouster of Guatemalan reformist Arbenz, it was only after Guevara met Fidel Castro in Mexico in 1955 that his bookish attraction to Marxist-Leninism (and his preference for the Soviet Union over the US as a model of political development) gave way to a revolutionary commitment. Once he was entrenched in Castro's inner circle, Guevara's sympathies with the USSR rose and fell with exactly the opposite timing of Castro's. Casta¤eda notes that in battle, Guevara's impulsive strategic decisions required the collaboration of a highly organized commander such as Castro. Without him, Guevara's extreme egalitarianism, revolutionary zeal, and strong will proved insufficient for repeated victory. As this became clear, Casta¤eda suggests, Castro opted against a rescue mission for the ailing revolutionary in Bolivia, as Guevara had become more useful as a martyr than as a fighter. Finally, the author dismisses the popular myth that Guevara went down with his guns blazing--he was executed by Bolivian authorities. Along the way, Casta¤eda presents some interesting, if quirky, theories on Guevara's psychological development. For example, he postulates that asthma played a key role in the revolutionary's predilection for armed struggle: Combat produces adrenaline, providing natural relief from asthma, while the deliberation of ambiguities brought on attacks. A solid yet easy to read account, with ample footnotes to satisfy serious readers. (16 pages photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Jorge Castaneda
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Castaneda, Jorge G.
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Descripción Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A., 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. New First Edition hardback, pristine, tight, fresh, New DJ, tape reinforced top and bottom inside. Nº de ref. de la librería 035206

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Descripción Knopf, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. First Edition. Excellent 2nd printing before publication. 1st. Edition, lst Printing ; 1.6 x 9.1 x 6.5 Inches; 456 pages First Edition; 2nd Printing Before Publication. Nº de ref. de la librería 87915

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