Che Guevara

A Revolutionary Life
Narrated by: Armando Durán
Length: 36 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (786 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Che Guevara was a dashing rebel whose epic dream was to end poverty and injustice in Latin America and the developing world through armed revolution.

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Encompassing and Fair Look at an Historical Man

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.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A complete history of Che Guevara

Any additional comments?

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Great as a historic document, terrible listen

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Lots of information but too much bias

What disappointed you about Che Guevara?

Got tired of the author making constant excuses for the atrocities committed by Che or skipping over significant events that drew Che in a negative light. The book provided a lot of details which I appreciated but the author constantly rationalized the bad things that Che would do. About 3 quarter of the way thru, I got fed up and stopped listening. When you give extreme details on everything but firing squads and land confiscation your political bias is getting the best of you.

What could Jon Lee Anderson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Gave details on the good and the bad.

What about Armando Durán’s performance did you like?

Solid, well paced.

What character would you cut from Che Guevara?

Many insignificant characters in this book.

Any additional comments?

Please note, this is not an unbiased biography of Che's life.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Propaganda

Don't be fooled, this book is propaganda. It idolizes Che, portrays capitalism as evil and barely speaks of the myriad faults of communism. It never questions the revolution or it's agenda. If you want to know the minutia of Che's life this is the book for you. If you want an honest portrayal of it look elsewhere.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but mildly annoying narrator

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed this book. The storyline is very interesting, though it was a little difficult to keep the characters straight when the narrator is talking about Che's parents and grandparents.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Che Guevara?

The early years of Che on his motorcycle and the scams he pulls in the towns he visits.

Did Armando Durán do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He has a pleasant voice but often mispronounces words, which is annoying since he seems to be a Spanish speaker.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thirty Six Hours of Love, Bravery and Tragedy.

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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow! What A Great Book!

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!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This Truly Was A Revolutionary Life!

I found that this audio book was one of the types of books that kept getting better and better and better all the way until the very end when it reached a crescendo in the portrayal of this revolutionary figure, Che Guevara.

I admit, I didn't know much about Che Guevara throughout the years other than seeing his symbolic symbols from time to time emblazoned on T-shirts and graffiti filled walls. To find out that he was such a revolutionary who essentially gave his life in order to try to end poverty and injustice and his homelands in Latin America, sheds a whole new light on him for me. There's not a whole a lot of people who will give their life fighting for anything that they really truly say they believe in, but he's one of them.

I'm not ready to cast him as a hero of mine just yet, but the author of this audio book did a wonderful job in telling the story of a revolutionary figure who will go down in history as fighting for something that he really truly believed in.

If you want to learn a few things about the revolutionary era that took place over the last 50 years in Latin America, this would be a fantastic book that would give you great insight to just that!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent 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.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ashley
  • 05-23-09

Very very factual, but also very long.

An extremely long listen, with heaps of factual detail (too much for me). Haven't managed to get to the end yet as have had to listen to other books in between. Narration is OK but rather monotone. Will pick up the book after an interlude of another couple of books. A perfect read if your studying Che Guevara, but wouldn't recommend if you don't have much time.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • 05-30-09

Excellent experience

The book is very well very written and comprehensive. Well supported by the very good narration.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • April
  • 01-18-12

Hard to put down

I was rivited to this listen. Anderson really did his homework. He had access to documents and people that had never before been read/interviewed. It's a great listen. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maisha
  • 01-10-20

Fantastic!!!

Between tears of sadness at the reminder of Che’s death; and, relief at having finished this 32hr tome -I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to read this book. So many different parts of what I know, have been properly joined together and I am much better informed for having read this book! Added to this, the authenticity of the reader was sooo good, it had the effect of almost transporting me to witness the events in this book! Excellent read and definitely a book that I would read again, if I can find the 32 hrs to do it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-16-17

Great book

For a book that is 36 hours long, it kept me gripped. Such a brilliant insight into one of history's memorable figures. Loved it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • colette
  • 03-15-17

good book

I wouldn't agree totally with all the content of this telling of Che and his eventual Legendary status. but it is well worth a listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex
  • 02-01-17

Epic!! Wow!!

This is an epic audio book - 36 hours epic. A story of an unbelievable man who led an unbelievable life. A revolutionary with a cause who lived by tough standards. What a life.
I'm really glad I listened to this audio book but it was hard going on my daily commutes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C
  • 04-29-16

Highly recommended

A thorough and sympathetic, though not uncritical, biography of Che Guevara. It contains impressive detail and gives good historical context to throughout as well as some more light hearted anecdotes which bring a very human aspect to the writing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leigh
  • 12-05-15

can't wait to get stuck in traffic

Where does Che Guevara rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

one of my favourites

Any additional comments?

exciting listening, so much detail into parts of Che's life that i had never known before. Really wonderful listening experience that is well written and read with enthusiasm

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 07-05-15

Great insight into an extraordinary man.

This book is a great insight into not only Che's life but the thinking behind it. What an extraordinary life he lived.