Jon Lee Anderson traces Che's extraordinary life from his comfortable Argentine upbringing to the battlefields of the Cuban revolution, from the halls of power in Castro's government to his failed campaign in the Congo and his assassination in the Bolivian jungle.
Meticulously researched and full of exclusive information, this work illuminates as never before the mythic figure who embodied the high-water mark of revolutionary communism as a force in history.
©1997 Jon Lee Anderson; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
The narrator was amazing- his voice was smooth, clear, intelligible, and engaging. I would definitely listen to more books by him.
If you’re remotely interested in the story of Che Guevara or the Cuban Revolution, then you’re most likely going to enjoy this book. I never felt that the writing was biased either for or against the subject. It seemed to be a fair portrayal of events and not a skewed interpretation of how things should have happened, how they were right/wrong, misguided/ justified, etc. In the end, the writing retold the events as they happened while the reader (listener) was free to make their own correlations or decisions.
The strongest parts of the book were the retellings of interpersonal relationships and things such as diary entries from Che and stories or conversations between important figures. The web of relations between Che, Castro, the Soviet Union, soldiers, family, Latin America, The U.S, Africa, and other players was one of great intrigue.
The weaker moments came in retelling specific war strategy and tactics. I didn’t care for the calling out of kilometers walked or mountain top elevations. I was a bit apathetic to the description of troop placements or numbers. I had difficulties remembering locations and names of people, which certainly led to my gray feelings for these things. Let me be clear- these things were not mishandled; they were simply not the most interesting parts for me to listen to.
I entered with a vague impression of what I thought of Guevara and the Cuban Revolution. Although I’m only beginning to ruminate on what this biography has done for those thoughts, I’ll tell you this: it has made me want to learn more! I knew how the gist of the story progressed and ended, but in no way did those facts diminish from the breadth of what is contained in this book.
This was a very enjoyable experience. The book was easy to follow and the information I’ve learned from it was easy to digest. I highly recommend this book.
I could not get myself to finish this book. This book goes in very deep in Che's life, to the point of listing every insignificant detail. I think as a historic document the author does a great job compiling all that information. But for a normal person just trying to learn about Guevara's life, it is way to much information, making the book long and sorry to say, boring. The performance doesn't help either. It is read as you would a historic document, so the hours just drag and drag... I got to the 3rd download and gave up.
I was already quite familiar with the story of Che Guevara when I purchased this audiobook. I have a book about him which I read once with great fascination. This audiobook is of an exceptional dimension, with new details that will make it difficult to even pause once you start listening.
An avid reader, who also loves to listen.
Wow, what a great book about such a great revolutionary figure. Some of the Spanish names and places were a little hard to follow for the typical American like myself but overall, this book was extremely interesting and I really enjoyed learning and hearing more about Che and his efforts.
If you are looking for a diatribe that either canonizes or demonizes Che Guevara, look elsewhere. This is a solid and straight forward biographical look into the man who is now legend.
The author explores his early history and connects the dots that lead him through his life. He avoids, I presume intentionally, delving too deeply into any of the politics. Not that he doesn't address political viewpoints, but rather that his treatment of the politics is historical, not emotional.
For this reason, the book is sometimes a bit dry. Not every aspect of a person's life makes for compelling theater. But, I give it 5 stars across because it is comprehensive and consistent and delivers exactly upon its promise - to tell you about who Che Guevara was.
This was a fascinating book and although it's probably the longest book that I've ever listened to (I don't know if I would have read a book of this length) and move a little slowly at first, it came to a riveting conclusion that keep me on the edge of my seat.
I'm a little young to fully understand and appreciate the social upheavals of the 1950' - 60' other than the 30,000 foot view that I have had most of my life. This book taught me so much in regards to some of those efforts.
If you're a student of history as I've become, you'll love this book!
Extremely well written book. The author has done a great job extracting all the important details of the life of this revolutionary and creating an amazing biography. Listening to this book was like stepping back in time and observing the historical events that took place. I just loved it.
The author tried to keep an even look at Che's life but his constant excusing of the shelfish and brutal acts of this "hero" shows his real agenda. Even with his excusing of these acts I found it quite interesting to read about this Communist community organizer. The work is probably more balanced than most about Che and I recommend this to anybody who is interested or who doesn't know much about Che.
I learned so much from listening to this book and was gripped by every minute of it. The 37 hrs flew by and I was always looking for more time to listen. I kind of want to listen to it again...
This book represents a significant undertaking to document the life of Guevara. Fidel and Raul Castro, and many other revolutionary fighters are also discussed in great detail. This work does not try to glamourise Guevara - it presents a portrait in great depth, including both the successes and failings of the man - a warts and all reference source.
The book is long! It is well documented and the author has incorporated a wide variety of research techniques to get to a deeper understanding of both Guevara, the people he fought with and against, the circumstances surrounding armed struggles, and the political climates in each of the countries in which he visited.
Descriptions of tough conditions in the jungles and mountains of Cuba, Bolivia, and the Congo were fascinating. The takeover of Cuba by Castro and Guevara, the wooing and subsequent falling out with USSR, the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis provided some great insights.
I loved this book, and will probably revisit it at some future date. It's probably not the sort of book for everyone and can be hard ploughing through the detail. But if you have the patience and interest, this book will dispel many myths about this astonishing character.
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