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Editorial Reviews

Ernesto "Che" Guevara is beloved as one of history's great revolutionaries, but he was also reviled as a threat to American dominance and security. Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith give a brief overview of Guevara's extraordinary life before focusing on his final days in Bolivia, where he was ultimately executed. Using their expertise as civil rights attorneys, Ratner and Smith present previously unpublished government documents to build a compelling case that the CIA was actively involved in killing Guevara. Their arguments are intensified by the striking performance of Kevin Free, whose methodical presentation makes Who Killed Che? chillingly insightful.

Publisher's Summary

In compelling detail two leading U.S. civil rights attorneys recount the extraordinary life and deliberate killing of the world's most storied revolutionary: Ernesto Che Guevara. Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith survey the extraordinary trajectory of Che's career, from an early politicization recounted in the Motorcycle Diaries, through meetings with his compaero Fidel Castro in Mexico, his vital role in the Cuban revolution, and his expeditions abroad to Africa and Latin America. But their focus is on Che's final days in Bolivia where, after months of struggle to spread the revolution begun in Havana, Che is wounded, captured and, soon after, executed. Bound and helpless, Che's last words to his killer, a soldier in the Bolivian Army, are "Remember, you are killing a man."

Referencing internal U.S. government documentation, much of it never before published, Ratner and Smith bring their forensic skills as attorneys to analyze the evidence and present an irrefutable case that the CIA not only knew of and approved the execution, but was instrumental in making it happen. Cables from the agency disavowing any U.S. role in the murder were merely attempts to provide plausible deniability for the Johnson administration.

The spirit of Che Guevara, as an icon and an inspiration, is as vibrant today as it ever was. News photographs of democracy protestors in the Middle East carrying his image have circulated the world in recent months. For anyone drawn to his remarkable life and its violent, unlawful end, Who Killed Che? will engage, anger, and educate.

©2011 Michael Ratner and Michael Steven Smith (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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the last word on Che

Anyone interested in Che the man and Che the revolutionary, Latin America, the CIA, or international politics and dirty tricks, will enjoy this book. The authors present a well researched and ultimately compelling case for what happened to Che and who was involved. An interesting, informative, and sometimes unsettling read, with excellent narration by Kevin Free.