Read Che. Die Biographie. by Jon Lee Anderson Online


Nicht ohne Stolz vermerkt der Autor, während eines Gespräches mit einem bolivianischen Ex-General und Zeugen des Mordes an Guevara, als erster über die Umstände der Hinrichtung und den Verbleib der Leiche erfahren zu haben! Die zweite große Che-Guevara-Biographie, die in diesem Jahr erschienen ist, ist noch umfangreicher als die von Suhrkamp herausgegebene. Dem Autor Jon Nicht ohne Stolz vermerkt der Autor, während eines Gespräches mit einem bolivianischen Ex-General und Zeugen des Mordes an Guevara, als erster über die Umstände der Hinrichtung und den Verbleib der Leiche erfahren zu haben! Die zweite große Che-Guevara-Biographie, die in diesem Jahr erschienen ist, ist noch umfangreicher als die von Suhrkamp herausgegebene. Dem Autor Jon Lee Anderson stand dabei eine Informationsquelle von unschätzbarem Wert zur Verfügung: Die Witwe Ches, Aleida March, erklärte sich zur Mitarbeit bereit, und so zog der Autor 1993 kurzerhand nach Havanna, da er dort dem Mythos des Revolutionärs am ehesten auf die Spur zu kommen glaubte. Andersons Buch stützt sich, im Gegensatz zu dem von Castañeda, mehr auf die Aussagen der Witwe, seiner fünf Kinder und der Mitstreiter Guevaras. Er kommt so dem Menschen näher und webt ein dichtes Psychogramm, das auch Fehler und Schwächen des Revolutionärs aufzeigt. Ches Biographen, noch immer in den Wurzeln des späteren Revolutionärs herumleuchtend, so auch Anderson, kommen immer wieder auf die komplizierte Mutter-Sohn-Bindung zurück, die ein Leben lang andauerte. Ches Vater, ein Zauderer -- der eigene Sohn blieb ihm ewig fremd -- spielte eine unbedeutende Hintergrundrolle in der Familie. Die Mutter, eine Art argentinische Femme fatale, erhob Che in den Status eines Familienoberhauptes, wie weit diese Rolle getrieben wurde, bleibt ein Rätsel. Che Guevara war besessen vom Ideal, ganz Lateinamerika durch eine bewaffnete Revolution von seinem Elend und seiner Unterdrückung zu befreien. Dafür kämpfte er Seite an Seite mit Castro zusammen gegen Batista, dafür vernachlässigte er viele, die ihm nahestanden (er galt als kuba-untypisch gehemmt und emotionslos), und dafür starb er, gehetzt von der bolivianischen Armee und der CIA. Andersons Biographie ist zwar etwas reißerischer im Ton als die bei Suhrkamp erschienene, dabei nicht weniger gründlich recherchiert, und wer mehr Action liebt, ist hiermit bestens bedient. --Ravi Unger...

Title : Che. Die Biographie.
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ISBN : 9783548601229
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 732 Pages
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Che. Die Biographie. Reviews

  • Kris
    2019-02-27 05:43

    Jon Lee Anderson's biography of Che Guevara is exhaustively researched, which was a benefit to me, since I had never before studied Che's life in detail, nor had I read about the Bay of Pigs or the Cuban Missile Crisis from anything but an American perspective. I found it to be an illuminating, albeit sometimes exhausting, read.This biography combines several approaches to history in one. In the first section, Anderson provides vivid details of Che's early life, his love of literature and learning, his studies to be a medical doctor, and his travels through Latin America, which eventually helped to lead him to his political awakening as a Marxist. This first section works particularly well as a work of intellectual history, especially with the addition of many quotations from Che's journals, correspondence, and other writings. I felt that I gained a good perspective on Che as an individual here, including his personal battles with very serious asthma, which continued to plague him throughout his life.The second section of the biography focuses on the Cuban Revolution, with copious details of the Che's leadership in the guerrilla warfare that eventually led to the fall of the Batista regime and the rise of Castro's Cuban republic. This section focuses especially on military history, and on the political tactics that Castro and Che utilized to gain strength in the Cuban countryside as well as internationally. (Anderson's discussion of Castro's tactics to make the world press believe he had a much larger force at his command than he actually did was especially fascinating.) In this section, Anderson shows Che's growth as a leader, as well as his close relationship with Castro. Anderson doesn't flinch from sharing details of Che's responsibility for executions of comrades and of enemies in the field, the darker side of the Cuban Revolution.The third section, which is the longest in the biography, focuses on several areas: Che's work for the Cuban government to develop Cuba's industrial infrastructure and move its economy from capitalism to socialism; Che's role in the complex international intrigue and negotiations of the time, maneuvering against the US while also playing the USSR and China off each other; and Che's final role as column leader and field commander of two failed insurrections, one in the Congo and one in Bolivia, which eventually cost him his life. There's a wealth of detail to assimilate in this section - names of foreign agents and Cubans fighting by Che's side, complex sequences of diplomatic maneuvers and moves by espionage agents, and lengthy documentation of every military decision taken in the field in the Congo and Bolivia, as well as analysis of all the reasons why those missions failed. In spite of this flood of names, facts, dates, and places, Anderson doesn't lose sight of his main themes in the biography. I emerged with an understanding of Che's unwavering and strict commitment to Marxism. He gave his life for his belief in the necessity of an international uprising against imperial and capitalist powers. In spite of some differences in opinion between Che and Castro on the best model for the Communist Revolution to follow in Cuba (Che preferred the Maoist model - he was concerned about how close Soviet Communism was to capitalism, and he believed there were many more parallels between the peasants of Cuba and those of China), Anderson presents Che as a dedicated, selfless, and loyal comrade and friend for Castro. He also lived an ascetic life, constantly on guard against receiving any benefits that the average Cuban citizen did not receive. In addition to providing these laudatory aspects of Che's personality, Anderson makes very clear Che's imperfections - his zealous commitment to his political cause meant that his family, including his children, had very little contact with him. When he left Cuba for the Congo, he did not expect to return. He could be overly strict and distanced at home, in the office, or in the field. Taken as a whole, Anderson's portrait of Che provides the reader with an understanding of the importance of his role in Latin American and world politics, both before and after his death, as well as with a richer understanding of this complex man.

  • Diane Wallace
    2019-03-13 03:23

    Great read! it has depth plus it was intricately researched and well written/balanced..saw the good and bad...highly recommend..(paperback!)

  • Jareed
    2019-03-08 06:33

    “Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.” -Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s last words* (Anderson, 1991:735) Ernesto 'Che' Guevara de la SernaThose words make me shudder. And one will wonder, who this man is, that in his irrepressible idealism enlivened in clandestine activities and political conspiracies, dare deprive death of his satisfaction, for indeed decades later, Comandante Che, is now heroically revered. Born Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, Che Guevara, was, unlike the ideology he died for, born in an affluent family of landed Argentinean elites, albeit a family on a sole route certain to lead them to modest living later on. Ernestito, as he was fondly called, was born with asthma, and throughout his life, this will limit and define him. At 7, barred by his recurring and debilitating asthma attacks from engaging in strenuous activities reinforced by a concrete mother-son relationship, Ernesto developed a love for literature. He was, in most instances in his life, a voracious reader.The Young Che groomed in an elite societyAt 16, “Everything began with literature for him” (89). At this age he has quoted Freud and Nietzsche in his journal. He read Jack London, Bertrand Russell, Faulkner, Kafka, Camus, and Sartre. Most often, he said, Neruda was his favorite.At 25, While in Medical School, Ernesto has traveled a sizeable part of South America first through his bicycle later outfitted with a motor and later with a motorbike. The travels are of monumental importance, in this austere travels characterized by the occasional begging of food and hitch-hiking rides, Che met the people of South America and for the first time saw the world through their forgotten faces and unheard voices. Indeed he writes, “The person who wrote these notes died upon stepping once again onto Argentine soil. The person who edits and polishes them, me, is no longer. At least, I am not the person I was before. The vagabonding through ‘America’ has changed me more than I thought.” (167)Che with his faithful bicycle he used for travellingAt 27, He meets Fidel and Raul Castro, who will later on invite him in, to which he giddily joined, the July 26 Movement for the liberation of Cuba from Batista. This critical step launches Ernesto away from his paradoxical behavior of complete apathy and radical declamations that characterized his earlier years. “I will be with the people, and i know it because I see it etched in the night that I, the eclectic dissector of doctrines and psychoanalyst of dogmas, howling like one possessed, will assault the barricades or trenches, will bathe my weapon in blood and, mad with fury, will slit the throat of any enemy who falls into my hands." (201)At 32, The July 26 Movement finds daylight, Batista flees the country, and a newly established revolutionary government with Fidel Castro as the head pronounced Che Guevara as a Cuban Citizen by birth. Che helps implement land reforms and literacy improvement projects in the liberated Cuba.Che with CastroAt 36, He left his ministerial position, commander’s rank, and family to spark off new revolutions.At 39, Che Guevara was caught in Bolivia, while tied down and kept as a prisoner, he was shot to death, his hands were cut-off, and buried in an unmarked mass grave. The remains were exhumed and later found through a confession of a retired Bolivian General who came clean to this book’s author. __________Jon Lee Anderson made a splendid job writing this biography. He was an international investigative reporter, war correspondent and staff writer for The New Yorker. His fastidiousness and training as an investigative writer was thoroughly employed in an outstanding manner. This is a well researched work grounded on extensive and exclusive primary sources that were given to Anderson when he approached Che Guevara’s widow, Aleida March, a distinction other written biographies lack that inevitably strips them of some semblance of true portrayal of Che’s life if not sheer outright veracity that led to biographies that have often resulted to sanctimonious and romanticized accounts. Anderson’s narrative is fluid and light. He presents the social milieu operative in Che’s environment and in so doing, the reader is made to understand how this helped shape the man. Anderson intermittently interjects his intuitive comments on the narrative which are always rational if not factual. What I have come to appreciate the most was Anderson’s tone in writing which was, if not totally objective, was not defined by a ‘western’ bias in the least. This is a great piece of work not only because of Anderson’s capacity and technical aspects in writing but more so in what it has substantially achieved. He was able to peel layers and layers of laudatory accounts and legends on this icon and revealed the man within. Did I enjoy reading this biography? Definitely, yes!Did I come to know Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara? Yes!Will I recommend this? This is the book one must read to know Che Guevara. ________*Accounts vary on this, and the incident itself has attained an exalted position, sometimes mythologized. Other accounts point that this is Che’s last written word as contained in his Bolivian diary. This review, along with my other reviews, has been cross-posted at imbookedindefinitely

  • Joseph
    2019-03-21 09:24

    Che, thug or hero? Many in the West are quick to say thug. Che was a true believer in liberating the underclass and freeing the countries from economic domination. He was critical of the Soviet's system of privilege and critical of those in post revolutionary Cuba should privilege. As far as being a thug he was quite tame compared to US supported dictators Somoza, Duvalier, Trujillo, and later Pinochet and Duarte. Support for Somoza loyalists brought more violence in Nicaragua but were supported by the US as of being of the same blood of our founding fathers --the Contras. The United States has a long history of promoting dictatorships instead of democracy. Che watched the overthrow of the legally and freely elected government of Arbenz in Guatemala. The US supported the overthrow and even participated in it. What good is the a northern neighbor who speaks of democracy, but overthrows it at the same time. He had good reason not to trust the US. Great book, balanced, and enlightening.

  • Marc
    2019-02-24 06:25

    I rarely give those 5 stars, but after some hard thoughts, I decided that this one deserves it. The author tries to give an account as balanced as you possibly could about a man as complex as Che. The research effort put into this is immense and it shows in the details. The important thing for me was that Anderson showed us both sides of the man. His other-worldly drive for justice and solidarity, but also his cold-blooded ruthlessness and obsession for discipline. I firmly think he is one of the most intelligent men of his era, but he is also a showcase for what can happen when a great mind is letting his emotions take over at virtually all time. After reading this book, it is clear that Che was and is misunderstood by a whole lot of people. In the end he was a flawed man, who believed that what he was doing was for the good of the poor and the oppressed. He believed that was worth to sacrifice his own comfort and ultimately own life. I can only respect him for that. I admit that I try to overlook his dark side a little bit in order to let him shine just enough.And may I say it...this book changes the way I view things...

  • Christopher
    2019-03-14 06:25

    I did not read Che because I'm a wannabe socialist or guerrilla. I read Che because I generally like biographies. I think it is good for twenty-somethings who are asking "what are my values and how will I commit to them in my life?" to read biographies of people who have done that whether their values are similar or different. What I loved about this book was not only the lens on the fascinating history of Che's life and especially the Cuban revolution, but the dozens of journal excerpts from Che. I mean what a deeply reflective thinker. What a passionate soul. A true inspiration is Che Guevara to one who needs a boost of courage to take the risk of following what they believe in, even if it means sacrificing the easy road of a lot of comfort and security in one's life.

  • kaśyap
    2019-03-14 01:39

    Over the years as Che Guevara was commodified, he became the most familiar figure and yet a misunderstood and unkown personality. He became a brand that was used to sell everything from t-shirts and mugs to canned beer. In all this commodification, Che’s life and what he stood for got lost. Who was this extraordinary man who gave up his privilege and everything he cherished and dedicated his life to an idea and died for it? This is a great biography that gives him a historical context and brings him to life.Che is one of the most important and charismatic figures of the human struggle against injustice and oppression. This biography is meticulously detailed and comprehensive. John lee Anderson takes us from the social conditions of his childhood, his family whose independent spirit will be a great influence on him, his medical studies, to his famous motorcycle journeys and his later journeys across the Americas that awakened his political and social consciousness as he became a dedicated Marxist. The Cuban revolution after which he became the principal architect of its economic direction, and his return to Guerrilla warfare after he decided that the Cuban revolution was on the right path that eventually led to his death in Bolivia. The death that would give him such an enduring romantic legacy. The final section of this book has many poignant moments.Che was selfless, strong-willed, honest, a lover of learning who constantly read books, and was totally dedicated to the cause of struggle against imperialism. While Fidel and Che shared the same goals and ideals, Fidel was a wily politician who presented a different face to the public from his private self and Che was honest to a fault who always spoke his mind. The author brings out both the passionate romantic and the cold rationale side of him.As a guerilla he was a man embroiled in a violent struggle and was no saint. He was a great tactician and a charismatic leader who attracted undying loyalty from many. He led an ascetic life and expected everyone to live upto his standards. He was a strict disciplinarian. He was also very idealistic and utopian which shows in the unbridled faith and optimism that he showed even when people around him were failing him.As an administrator he was the driving force behind Cuba’s land reforms and its successful health and literacy programs. As a Marxist, he wanted to diversify and industrialise the Cuban economy. In this he was critical of the soviet model and was more of a Maoist. He was a dedicated internationalist and he held that socialism could only be successful with the creation of the "New Man". He believed that a change in consciousness should be simultaneous with the new material foundations. I think his idea of the "New socialist man" is his most important contribution to Marxist theory. He argued that capitalism produces incomplete alienated individuals that only a true socialist society enables a man to become a complete individual.An excellent and inspirational biography of a truly selfless revolutionary. He dedicated his life to what he believed in and he ultimately died for it.

  • Amin Dorosti
    2019-03-04 05:21

    این کتاب یکی از بهترین بیوگرافی هایی هست که تا به حال خوانده ام و بی تردید بهترین کتابی ست که درباره چه گوارا تا به حال دیده ام، کتاب نه تنها خوش خوان و جذاب است، بر خلاف بسیاری از بیوگرافی ها اصلا کسل کننده و خسته کننده نیست. افزون بر این به نطر میرسد که نویسنده کوشیده است تا از موضعی بی طرفانه و یا حداقل با کمترین سوگیری به روایت زندگی یکی از بزرگترین چهره های قرن بیستم بپردازد.کتاب را در سالهایی که سر پر شوری در گرایشات چپ داشتم و در فضای سیاسی دانشگاه به قولی خودم را یک چه گوارای کوچک می پنداشتم خواندم و به واقع با آن زندگی کردم، یادم هست در روزهایی این کتاب را میخواندم که امتحانات پایان ترم دانشگاه بود، و من به جای خواندن درس ها مدام این کتاب را میخواندم، در نتیجه همین کتاب یک ترم مشروطی را برای من به ارمغان آورد :-)از این خاطره شخصی که بگذریم، این کتاب کوشیده است تا نگاهی صرفا شخصی و زندگی نامه ای نداشته باشد و در کنار روایت زندگی چه گوارا به حوادث و رویدادهای مهم میانه قرن بیستم هم بپردازد و از این رو به نوعی روایتی کلی از تاریخ مبارزات چریکی و به ویزه مبارزات و جریان های ضد امپریالیستی قرن بیستم ارائه میدهد.به هر روی خواندن این کتاب را به تمام دوستانی که به شخص چه گوارا و تاریخ مبارزات چریکی و نیز تاریخ انقلاب کوبا و تحولات سیاسی میانۀ قرن بیستم و به ویژه دهه 1960 میلادی علاقه مند هستند به شدت توصیه میکنم.

  • Hadrian
    2019-02-23 08:43

    Extremely interesting biography of a very controversial man. I'm still not quite sure what to think of him, but I know considerably more about him. A side note: my used copy had annotations throughout the first 200 pages - entirely critical comments: 'bum', 'dumbass', etc. That is not the point of a biography, to confirm your own prejudices. It is to form a portrait of a man's life to analyze and learn from.

  • Selby
    2019-03-06 03:40

    A great biography about a generally misunderstood figurehead. I have seen too much crap with Guevera's face on it; tees, bandanas, medallions, pencil holders, etc. His persona has been so commodifed it is important to understand who he was and what he represents. The book does not shy away from his dark moments; rape, murder, or his phenomenal ones; adrenaline shots into the heart, voluntary poverty. A fantastic book.

  • A.J. Howard
    2019-03-07 05:21

    The great historical tragedy surrounding the legacy of Che Guevara is that man who was nothing but completely and utterly sincere has become a symbol of insincerity. I'm not sure if this was always the case, but at least when I see people of my generation wearing a Che shirt or displaying a Che poster, I no longer see the famous Korda photograph of Guevara, I see the words "I am a giant poser" tattooed in bold relief on that persons face. There may be people who are sincere in their admiration, but usually a Che shirt symbolizes that the wearer listens to Rage Against the Machine in their car stereos on the way to the mall to spend their parents money at the most convenient Hot Topic. As others have noted, the person who would be most revolted by this misappropriation of identity would be Che himself.The cult of Che continues to make some sense, even after the end of the Cold War. Guevara was brilliant, curious, compassioniate, and utterly committed to his principal beliefs. Among the communist leaders of the 20th century, Guevara emerges as the one most faithfully committed to his principles. It's hard to imagine Che compromising Marxist principles for the sake of economic expediency, like Lenin, or for the accumulation of personal power, like Stalin. Che was willing to die for his beliefs, indeed he arguably actively sought his own eventual martyrdom. Additionally, Che's legacy, like Kurt Cobain's or Jim Morrison's, greatly benefited from the relative brevity of his life. Che died soon enough that his entire life in still basked in the warm glow of revolution. Perhaps one of the reasons he appears so steadfast is that he didn't live long enough to compromise his legacy. There's the added benefit that Che was a pretty handsome guy, so we remember him as a dashing guerilla type. There is no footage of Che as a doddering 80 year old man still wearing army fatigues, rambling incoherencies.In many ways, Che was an archetype for the baby boomer generation. Born into a middle class Argentinian family, Che spent his early years searching for a sense of meaning. He eventually found it in a sympathy with the poor and exploited peasants of Latin America. This further exacerbated an already present sense of anti-Americanism, that lasted throughout his lifetime. Contrary to U.S. Cold Warrior theory, it was antipathy to Americans that eventually led him to Marxism. To be fair, such feelings weren't exactly unjustified. Wherever there was a South or Central American corrupt dictator exploiting his people there was usually the government of the United States standing behind them. Communism was initially just the bugaboo used to justify intervention. The real reason the United States intervened in South America during the Eisenhower years was to protect the interests of United Fruit, Coca-Cola and other American companies. Guevara's sympathies for the downtrodden of Latin America eventually drove him to armed resistance. In Guatemala, he fought against the U.S. backed coup against a democratically elected president. The failure of this struggle taught Guevara many lessons, and was probably the last push that led to him becoming a full-fledged Communist.After the coup in Guatemala, Che continued to Mexico City, which was at the time the exile capital of Americas. Here he connected with a group of Cuban exiles through whom he eventually met a young lawyer who had recently been let out of prison for a failed attack on a barracks, Fidel Castro. Here Guevara finally found the purpose that would consume the rest of his life. The rest, as they say, is history.Che's life is a story of a young man's search for fulfillment, eventual satisfaction, and an attempt to, for lack of better words, "chase that feeling." The success of Castro's revolution is truly a remarkable story. A group of several dozen rebels led by Castro landed in Cuba in December, 1956. WIthin weeks their numbers had been reduced to less than twenty. Yet just a little two years after their disastrous landing, Batista's dictatorship had collapsed and the rebels were marching into Havana. I'm not sure what sure of this ultimate success can be apportioned to the leadership of Castro, Guevara, and others, but obviously a tremendous deal of luck was involved.Che spent the remainder of his life with the ambition to duplicate the Cuban revolution in his birthplace. Here's where Che's many faults came into play. Guevara had all of the arrogance and hardheadedness that came with being a steadfast ideologue. Just because something had been done once, Che believed that it could be duplicated in different situations by following a set of principles. This belief led to nothing but disasters of an increasingly hubristic nature. Che failed that his earlier success in Cuba made a repeat of that success near impossible. Now, Latin American governments and their U.S. supporters would not tolerate small bands of guerillas operating in the mountains, allowing them to build up their resources. Instead, they would be smashed quickly and brutally. After seeing several of his sponsored guerilla groups destroyed, as a result of what he perceived as a failure to follow his instructions, Che decided to reenter the field himself. Ironically, these expeditions on a smaller scale resembled the situation the United States was concurrently experiencing in Vietnam. Che went into the Congo convinced that his leadership and Cuban support could inspire the disparate rebel groups there. Instead, the rebellion had been smashed within months and the path was set the stage for the 30 year Mobutu dictatorship.Che's final venture in Bolivia was a complete and utter fiasco. The farce didn't even deserve the term revolution, it was more of a Cuban intervention in a sovereign country. Castro and Guevara decided that Bolivia was the appropriate launching spot for what they hoped would be a continent-wide uprising and they strong armed elements in Bolivia to provide the reluctant and feeble native backing. The struggle was essentially Cuban led, and mostly Cuban fought with an element of Bolivian support. Not surprisingly, it was a disaster from the start, and Che didn't follow his own rule book. Events culminated in Guevara's eventual surrender and execution.Like I mentioned, Che had all of the strengths and weaknesses of an intellectual who lives in sole service of an idea. He was a moral man without hypocrisy, who could be charismatic, funny, and brilliant. But he served his idea to a faul. As much as he railed against the untoward influence of the U.S. over Latin America, his beliefs put Cuba into a much more subservient position toward the U.S.S.R. Even before his death, he left his children fatherless to serve the revolution. He was also uncompromising to a fault. He was willing to look favorably upon nuclear armageddon as long as it served his cause. In the romantic accounts of Guevara's life and death, it is not mentioned that he died in an attempt to spark World War III. His aspirations were that his uprising in Bolivia would lead to a continent wide uprising that would create a second Vietnam in the Americas. He hoped this would inspire China and the Soviet Union to set aside their sectarian differences to unite in a general struggle against the United States. He foresaw a more socialistic humanity emerging from the ashes of a nuclear conflict. He was willing to see the death of millions as long as it served his ideological beliefs. No matter his good qualities, this lessens the sense of tragedy surrounding his execution, for me at least.Whatever the case may be, the life and death of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara is an epic tale, and Jon Lee Anderson does an admirable job in relating it. The investigative journalistic work that Anderson did oozes out of the work. Anderson spent years on this project, and lived for years in Cuba. In addition to reading almost everything written about or by Che, Anderson has interviewed scores of Guevara's contemporaries, in Cuba and Argentina, including childhood friends, Cuban officials, and fellow guerillas. What emerges is a balanced biography that is rare for such a polarizing subject. My review perhaps does not exhibit this quality, but this is more of a result of the conclusions I drew from the book and not a reflection on any inherent biases Anderson might have. Anderson does not seek to beatify or demonize, he seeks to report. Doing so, he actually was able to break news. It was his research in the course of writing this book that led to the discovery of Guevara's long lost remains near a airstrip in Bolivia in 1997. Anderson chips off the tarnish of mythology to prevent an evenhanded and reliable account of life of one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century.

  • Chrissie
    2019-03-23 05:25

    I highly recommend this book. All have heard of the icon Che Guevara (May 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967). This book shows you who he really was. His character, his weaknesses and strengths, his life-philosophy and goals, all of this is covered in this book. It is meticulously researched and full of exclusive information, for example previously unavailable information gathered from his second wife. It follows his life chronologically through to his death. After his death, in the epilogue, the lives of his siblings, parents, children and wives are chronicled too. This book is comprehensive. His characteristics are exemplified through his deeds. You are not merely told that he is “a man of principle”, but you are shown how his deeds make him that. I admire Che Guevara and yet he went too far. At least in my opinion. He certainly wanted to help others. He certainly demanded high standards of others, but he demanded the same of himself.This book is also about the ideals of socialism. It is about communism and how the Russian and Chinese diverge. It is about the guerrilla warfare. The book is about how these political ideologies spread in Latin America. You learn of how these ideologies played out in all of Latin America, not just in the country of his birth, Argentina, not just in Cuba, but in Nicaragua and Guatemala and Peru and Bolivia and Mexico. The history of all of Latin America from the 30s through the 60s is delineated. Why? Because he had a hand in much of it. You learn of the fight for socialism in the Congo too. I am usually not interested in politics. But Che had such devotion to his principles that his enthusiasm spreads and you understand why he does what he does, even if it all goes too far in the end. The author made me understand how Che reasoned. And Che knew his own faults. You see in this book how people change and how they don’t change. How wonderful ideals can get all messed up.I feel I know who Che Guevara is after reading this book. I learned a lot about Latin American history. Through his life I became very interested in this history. There are a lot of names and historical facts that will disappear from my head, but something will fasten. I listened to an audiobook. The narration, by Armando Durán, was superb. He could read the facts with an appropriate tone. Equally well he made the reader understand Che’s emotions. Beware, this is a very long audiobook - 36 hours and 48 minutes! I found all of it compelling. To really know who Che is you must hear the details. These facts are not boring. The pronunciation of the Spanish names I found difficult to “spell out”. I couldn’t even see them because I had no book in front of me and they are pronounced fluently. Nevertheless I did remember most of who all these people were. Don’t ask me to write out their names because I cannot, but I did recognize who was who as I listened.You must know that Che was really called Ernesto. Che means “you, there”! He used to say that all the time to others. That is why others started calling him that. He was trained as a doctor. When he was young he was not at all interested in politics. He had terrible asthma. Can you imagine fighting as a guerrilla with asthma in humid climates? These are just a smattering of some interesting tidbits. No, I don’t believe in communism. No, I don’t believe in guerrilla warfare. I still admire Che Guevara. He is a fascinating person. If he didn’t know something, he set himself to learn it. I will put an end to this…..I cannot go on and on telling you about him. I highly recommend this book, but give yourself the time to read it properly.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-02-26 02:42

    This 700+ page biography of Che Guevara is definitely definitive. While reading it, I had a feeling that I was taking a Rizal course in college. The story included all the years and phases of Che’s life as an asthmatic child with his small group of playmates, as a teenager traveling the countryside of Argentina in his bicycle, his unrequited first love, his funny years a medical student and finally his life as communist revolutionary. When I picked the book in December last year, I said that I would like to know the man because I have been seeing his image printed on cool t-shirts since I was a kid. A few years ago, I bought and viewed some parts of the movie Motorcycle Diaries but I did not know that it was about the teenager Che Guevara. After reading the novel, I think I know everything that I need to know about the guy. Thanks to this well-researched book of Jon Lee Anderson. I look forward to reading his other books like the one about the Fall of Baghdad that he wrote only a few years ago.Did I like Che Guevara as a person? Definitely, yes. He stood to what he believed was right. Did I believe he was right? Well, had I read this before the fall of Berlin Wall or the disintegration of USSR, maybe it could have been an emphatic yes. Being an asthmatic child, he spent most of his time reading and the fact that the Guevara’s home was full of books (to the point that there were no more chairs for guest to sit on) helped him pursue this hobby. Philosophy and literature (including poetry) are his greatest interest and this broadened his thinking and developed his critical reasoning. Then his sojourns in the countryside opened his eyes to the injustices to marginalized people in Argentina. With Fidel Castro by his side, he succeeded in Cuba but failed in Argentina, Honduras and Bolivia leading to his death on October 9, 1967 (I was only 4 year old then).I don’t say that it was just a waste. He was able to serve the poor as a doctor in the years in the mountain. He was able to train and inculcate in the minds of many young men and women in those countries the true meaning of one’s love to his/her country. However, now that the Lenin-Marx models were proven as not as effective, I have a second thought that his short life (he died in the age of 39). He could have succeeded more as a allergy scientist. On the other hand, with your image printed on shirts being worn by young people even 40 years after your death, is it not an achievement enough?

  • Jason
    2019-03-11 02:22

    I bought this book because I really had little to no idea who this guy was. I knew he was involved in the Cuban revolution, and that his face adorns thousands of T-shirts around the world, but that was it. What really motivated me to finally sit down and read this book was something I saw in a Chinese restaurant about two or three months ago. I was sitting in the restaurant, waiting for my food when a twelve-year-old kid came in, wearing a Che Guevara shirt. I wondered if the kid even knew anything about the history or what that shirt entails. Was it simply a cool symbol of rebellion to him, as it is to thousands of others? To me, a kid wearing that shirt seemed rude, somehow. Ignorant. But these judgements I gave so easily only made me a hypocrite; I had no real knowledge myself.Jon Lee Anderson's opus takes us on Che Guevara's adventurous life from birth up until his death in the Bolivian mountains. Exhaustively researched, the timeline is flawless, from what I can tell. But what makes this book, and Che's life, so interesting, is the man himself: Che Guevara. As a Capitalist Imperialist myself, an individual Che would have enjoyed shooting, I never thought I'd admire a communist. But there is a lot to admire in Che. Up until his death, he was a man who stood by his word. He walked the walk and talked the talk. If he was going to be a communist in a role of leadership, he wasn't about to abuse that power and live in a palace. He lived amongst the people, and expected no less from others in positions of power.There was also a lot to hate. Che was a man bent on using violence to create social change within the world. Although this theory may hold some truth, in my opinion, the things Che wanted to accomplish in his lifetime were just insane. I'm thinking, for those who've read this work, his goal of many Vietnam-like wars, of personally provoking World War III, and his want of a global Marxist/communist government, thereby eradicating democracy, or capitalist imperialism. I live in country where I'm allowed to read what I want, and think for myself, so I'm glad these things never came to pass. My country's politics are very flawed, but so is communism, in my humble opinion. It is also my opinion that there's no government that can operate perfectly, but that is another topic. Che was, however, loved by many people. His very presence in history was enough to spark even my own affection, as he was a rare and most interesting individual.I highly recommend reading this, especially to those who've either worn the shirt, or have wanted to, but know nothing about the actual man. And remember, it is much a more attractive character trait to educate yourself before making judgements.

  • Benjamin
    2019-03-23 08:23

    Exhaustive to say the least but if you have any questions about the life of this man, this book will answer them for you. I do get the impression that Guevara would hate just about everybody walking around the US with his picture on a t-shirt.

  • Kamil Salamah
    2019-02-28 07:40

    Quoting the author on the last page of the epilogue..." Around the time Che's body was exhumed, a scrawl of graffiti in Spanish had appeared on the wall of the Vallegrande public telephone office. It said: Che-Alive as they never wanted you to be". This is his legacy.And the proof is, every time we witness a social movement or demonstration any where in the world, his ever famous portrait hangs HIGH.They tried so hard to smear his character but to no avail. A man who lead by example. A man who profoundly believed in UNIVERSAL SOCIAL JUSTICE. A man who refused positions of power and materialist gains. A man who believed that the individual by himself is worthless but being part of a successful society that had shared values and practiced social justice is PRICELESS. A man that faced death in the face when it a took a corrupt drunkard soldier to assassinate him saying to him," Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man".LONG LIVE CHE

  • Jason
    2019-03-11 09:46

    This is a hell of a book, both in length and content! I enjoyed getting a clear and ample picture of such a mythologized human being. Even as a Spanish major, I didn't hear very much about Che, other than that he wanted to be the new Bolivar and he was Castro's right-hand man. Also, in USA, we tend to only hear about Che and Castro through the anti-Communist, Cold War Era lens. I also learned a lot about communism and its implementation in various countries throughout the world. It took me a while to get through, and I was getting tired around page 650 or so. It's well worth the struggle, however!

  • G.d. Brennan
    2019-03-01 03:41

    Among Communism's dead and dying giants, Che Guevara stands out. Few of them lived a shorter life; the job title of "Major Communist Figure" seemed to grant Fidel Castro, Deng Xiaoping, Kim Il Sung and others a Methuselah-like longevity, whereas Che didn't live to see his fortieth birthday. But few, too, lived a life so chock full of romantic adventure, intrigue, myth and mystery. It's a life that retains a certain allure, a life that, to many, still seems worthy of veneration and emulation.It is difficult to write a biography about someone larger than life, hard to convey both the person and the myth, but Anderson has done a stellar job on both fronts. Besides being well written, "Che" is excellently and thoroughly researched, a far more difficult and important feat: given the timing of Che's life and the ages of his contemporaries, Anderson's interviews and discussions with many of the major players in his life and death mean that this book will remain the definitive work on the subject. Importantly, too, Anderson shows us not the blown-up and distorted figure so many have seen, but the true dimensions of a man and his actions.On one level, those actions were considerable: the Argentinian-born Che lived a truly epic life. After a relatively secure youth, Che trained to be a doctor, then embarked with a friend on a continent-spanning motorcycle journey before his studies were up. It was, perhaps, a sign of things to come: throughout his life, Che seemed better at starting new things than at bringing old things to a successful close.Che's journey helped crystallize the sentiments that would underpin his life: ever after, he retained a pan-Latin American sensibility, a sympathy for the region's poor and downtrodden, and a belief that the United States was to blame for the region's ills. In support of those beliefs, he first played a bit part in Guatemala's ill-fated revolution, then joined Fidel Castro's revolution-in-training in Mexico.Castro and company's subsequent landing in Cuba seemed like a quixotic undertaking: he, Che, and a mere handful of men were attempting to foment an island-wide revolution. But they succeeded, against seemingly impossible odds, driving Batista's regime from power and finding themselves triumphantly holding the levers of power in Havana. And that success was, in many ways, Che's undoing.At the ripe old age of thirty, Che found himself one of the most important men in Cuba. And, mindful of the Guatemalan revolution's untimely demise, Che helped Castro cement the Cuban revolution by ruthlessly purging the island of those who weren't committed to it. But his temperament remained that of the brash revolutionary, not that of the patient technocrat he was asked to become, and when it came time to actually run the country, to make the revolution a success, Che and his ilk were failures.Anderson does a masterful job in describing how disasterous the Cuban revolution was for Cuba. In distancing themselves from the United States and putting their country in the Soviet orbit, Castro and Che wreaked havoc on the Cuban economy. Che was a fanatical and austere idealist truly committed to his cause, but few shared his level of committment; many of those with the technical know-how to keep the nation's sugar mills running fled the country rather than work for a man who knew a little about revolutions but very little about running an economy. "Cuba's revolutionaries clearly had not thought through the consequences of going for a complete break with the United States," Anderson writes, going on to describe the myriad problems that brought the island nation's economy to a grinding standstill: sulphuric Soviet petroleum that corroded the piping in American-built refineries, Soviet technicians unable to deal with modern American technology, and even metric Soviet tools that couldn't be used to fix American-built machines.Given these setbacks, it is little wonder Che lost patience with the life of the bureaucrat and sought to reprise his signal triumph by fomenting revolutions in the Congo and, later, Bolivia. For a brief moment in time, the revolutionary dream seemed real and powerful again; Che envisioned a worldwide struggle against what he viewed as American imperialism and saw himself as the man to ignite this revolutionary world war. Not until bin Laden would the United States find a similarly implacable and mysterious foe willing to do battle and inspire followers at every corner of the globe.But Che the myth was more powerful than Che the man. In both the Congo and Bolivia, Anderson writes, Che made the mistake of "foisting himself unannounced" on a pre-existing local rebellion, acting as if his presence alone would make the difference between success and failure. Such tactics didn't endear him with the local Communist leaders, let alone the populations-at-large in those nations; rather than leading a popular revolution in Bolivia, Che and his men found themselves alone and on the run, abandoned even by many of their fellow Communists, hounded into the mountains by government forces aided and abetted by the CIA, there to be finally captured and executed.Still, the myth lived on; austere, handsome, and devoted to his cause, Che became more useful in death than he had been in life, more successful as a poster child for Cuba's revolution than he had been as a man helping to run it. Consequently, his life retained its allure even after the death of the ideology for which he gave it.There are some faults in Anderson's book. It could have used one more edit; this reviewer found a couple typos which will hopefully be corrected in subsequent editions. More importantly, although Anderson excellently conveys Che's character, both his strengths (determination and idealism) and his weaknesses (hubris and naivete), he doesn't do as well in describing others in Che's life: some secondary characters remain ill-understood at the book's conclusion. Lastly, he gives relatively short shrift to some rather important events, like the Cuban Missile Crisis.What we do learn about that episode is fascinating, though, and speaks to the strength of Anderson's book: Che seemed quite willing to have his adopted homeland vaporized in a nuclear war for the sake of the revolutionary ideal. It is in such details that Anderson illuminates the dark side of the Guevara myth, and for that, we must thank him, for he has painted a full and complete portrait that rounds out our knowledge of this fascinating man. Those interested in him need look no further than this book: before reading it, I understood little about Che; after reading it, I felt I knew the man.

  • Monica
    2019-02-26 04:34

    9/4/09 People don't need me to tell them what a tremendous book this is. I can say now I know what happened. Che is a mythical figure but now I'm informed. Who ever said he killed 3,000 Batistas is wrong. It was more like 55, still not something to ballyhoo, but, to paraphrase Che's words 'kill them before they kill you'. His life and death is as sad as the squalor and poverty he tried to fight in Africa and South America where schools are more like prisons and people are left like animals uneducated in poor conditions while some people have way too much. 8/20/09 I'm having difficulty posting an update - the browser/goodreads is stalling -- page 543 -A hundred pages back I was beginning to feel a struggle -- too much information -- but, compared to the prismatic complexity of Rivers of Gold, and the encyclopedic excesses of Cuba and it's Music, this is a linear, remarkably thorough, coherent account of Geuvara' short life and his tremendous impact on the world. His single-minded devotion to equalizing the playing field with the U. S. created havoc and hardship; his own friends didn't recognize him. He hated Yanqui imperialism, yet he was the U. S. counter culture's darling. Young radicals believed in justice for the poor and likewise hated the military but would have been horrified by the details of guerrilla warfare in the Sierra Maestra, the swamps, tribunals and requisitioning of private land. What if indigenous Americans, or any other group decided to overthrow our government/personal property and way of life? What if the government did a take-over of healthcare?! :-) I'm feeling the loss of this book even though there are a couple hundred more pages.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-03 04:31

    I haven't figured out why this guy is so lauded. His anti-imperialism in my opinion led to his own brand of imperialism by bringing his own political agenda to other countries. In one section it explains how he was different from the average Cuban, maybe because he wasn't Cuban? He is lauded as a brilliant and to a degree he had some good ideas however he wasn't smart enough to figure out Communism doesn't work. It's a Utopia that will never be fully achieved because people are not altruistic people are not willing to give up the good life to the benefit of all. Che was an enigma in this sense that he did just that. Communism also won't work because too much choice and freedom has to be taken away, case in point, they eliminated studies at the university because they wouldn't benefit society as a whole. Humans whether we like it or not are individualistic for the most part, altruism on a grand scale just doesn't happen. All in all the book was extraordinarily researched if not overly long. For people who laud the man they may be able to start seeing his faults. In the end I just didn't care about him enough to enjoy the book.

  • Matt Algiers
    2019-03-12 03:43

    As a biography, ignoring the content for a moment, Jon Lee Anderson has pulled of something incredible here. Of all the bios I have read this is undoubtedly the most expansive and comprehensive of the lot. From Ernesto's youth on an Argentinean farm to his days on the motorcycle to his first meeting with Fidel Castro and everything that comes after, this book covers it all in amazingly detailed detail. I just can't imagine doing the research for this book. It's an encyclopedia of a man's life! All that said, it's a smooth read. The book is massive, and the minutia of early 60's Cuban/Soviet/American politics might bog you down near the middle, but not to worry, Che will soon be back to the jungles of the world trying to free the oppressed. Yeah, Che was a communist, and yeah, he ha appeared on far too many t-shirts, bumper stickers, book bags, posters, etc. in the capitalist world, but that's just how his legacy has been perverted. The book tells the story of a strong and amazing man, who believed all people deserved to be free from the yoke of imperialist tyranny. Definitely worth a read.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-02-26 04:38

    This book was given me as a gift--an excellent one as the biography of Ernesto "Che" Guevara (b. Argentina 6/14/28–d. Bolivia 10/9/67) is not only well-researched but also balanced and very well-written. Although a cultural icon even in life, Che is presented realistically as the hopeful revolutionary he was--too radical and cosmopolitan, perhaps, to have lasted long as a Cuban administrator. One may not agree with his politics, but it is difficult not to admire the man's spirit.

  • M.
    2019-03-01 04:38

    Che ve Küba tarihi hakkında okuma yapmak isteyenlerin diğer kaynaklara göre bulabilecekleri en tarafsız ve kapsamlı kitabın bu olacağını düşünüyorum.

  • Andreea
    2019-02-23 01:26

    I decided to read this book in preparation for our holiday Cuba. I didn't finish it before leaving so I continued reading throughout the trip. The reading experience was enriched by landing in the Cuban reality. A great part of the book is dedicated to the Cuban revolution and to Che's role in Cuban politics and diplomacy. And this is completely understandable as his fame is related to Cuba although he was an Argentinian. Lack of knowledge regarding Cuba's history may lead to underestimating the importance of their revolution. With respect to this, our trip to Santiago de Cuba contributed to making things more clear. This book was also eye opening regarding Central and Latin American history, a topic that is superficially thought in schools, usually reduced to how the mighty well educated Europeans discovered them.The author tries to be very objective in his portrayal of Che. He is trying not to make any personal comments, although he was one of the people directly involved in the discovery of Che's body in Bolivia in 1997. The guerrilla fights in Sierra Maestra were depicted in a very realistic tone signalling inconsistencies between Che's diary from that period and published material. They are not presented gloriously, but as they actually were: people defecting, chivatos being executed, days when they didn't have food or medicine for their wounded. The book also describes the relationship between Che and Fidel, which looked like a great friendship. This can be also deduced from their correspondence and public speeches. The depiction of Fidel is also quite interesting. Che seems like a very idealistic and rigid man. He tries not to let himself controlled by emotions and be an example of discipline for his men. He was disappointed by the way communism was implemented in Russia and wanted to make Cuba an example. He didn't manage to do this, but his legacy was actually in Latin American politics of today, not regarding communism but the position towards the U.S.It was quite an experience for me to visit Che's Mausoleum in Santa Clara, Fidel's Comandancia in the Sierra Maestra, the Moncada barracks and see the Granma Yacht for real after reading about them.

  • Danial
    2019-02-28 04:26

    چه گِوارا - زندگی انقلابینوشته جان‌لی اَندرسن و ترجمه علیرضا رفوگران و انتشارات چشمه.تا الان (94) این کتاب به چاپ سوم رسیده:نوشته پشت جلد.جان لی اندرسن، حرفه خبرنگاری را در دهه هفتاد میلادی در امریکای لاتین آغاز کرد.او اکنون خبرنگار و عضو ثابت کادر نویسندگان نشریه نیویورکر است و او را خبرنگار خبرنگاران لقب داده‌اند،شیوه نگارش اندرسن و تعهد او به ارائه گزارش‌های مستند، که بازتابی از موقعیت ممتاز حرفه‌ای اوست.چشم‌اندازی کم‌نظیر از زندگی چه‌گوارا و همچنین تاریخ اجتماعی و سیاسی امریکای لاتین در اختیار خواننده می‌گذارد،این کتاب که در پانزده زبان زنده دنیا به چاپ رسیده استکامل‌ترین زندگی‌نامه چه‌گوارا به شمار می‌رود و زندگی استثنایی این انقلابی جذاب را که رویای حماسی‌اش خاتمه دادنبه فقر و بی‌عدالتی در امریکای لاتین به وسیله انقلاب مسلحانه بود، دنبال می‌کند؛،از دوران مرفه کودکی تا میدان‌های نبرد انقلاب کوبا.از تالارهای قدرت در دولت کاسترو تا شکست در مبارزات کنگو و جان باختن در بولیویاندرسن دسترسی بی سابقه‌ای به آرشیو‌های شخصیت چه گوارا پیدا کرد.که در اختیار همسر گوارا بوداو مصاحبه‌های متعددی با همرزمان چه گوارا - که برخی‌شان برای اولین‌بار در اینجا سخن گفته‌اند - و افسران بولیویایی و مأموران سیا که او را از پای در .آوردند، انجام داده استهمچنین اندرسن محل دفن جنازه چه گوارا را که پیش از این مخفی بود.فاش کرد که نهایتا منجر به نبش قبر و انتقال بازمانده استخوانهایی گوارا و تشریفات تدفین در کوبا شد،ویژگی نسخه فارسی این کتاب تحقیقات مضاعفی است که مترجم ایرانی آن با ارجاع به کتاب.در سفرهایی به امریکای لاتین و اروپا و مصاحبه با شخصیت‌های آن انجام داده استـــــــــــــــــــــــکتاب در 1003 صفحه همراه با پیوست های آخر هر فصل و بغیر از پیوست آخر و پیوست تصاویر ترجمه شده استکتاب خیلی خوبیه، حوادث و جزئیات بسیار زیادی در بَر دارهشخصیتهای خیلی زیادی مطرح میشن که گاهی آدم رو گیج میکنه و شاید یادش بره که "کی"، "چه کاره" بودهالبته طرح شخصیتهای فراوان نمیتونه امتیاز منفی برای کتاب در زمینه بیوگرافی باشه..کتاب دارای پیوست تصاویری‌ست که اغلب از دفتر امور تاریخی شورای دولتی کوبا برگرفته شده انددر نهایت میتونم خوندن این کتاب رو به اون دسته افرادی که علاقه به مطالعه انقلابها بویژه انقلاب کوبا دارند، توصیه کنمنقطه/

  • Amy
    2019-03-17 09:33

    After trying to research information about Che on the internet and from people around me I found that there is a large amount of propaganda from both Cuban's and American's that conflict with what people are told that this man was like.This books was thoroughly researched and showed both the great attributes of the man and the extreme views he held. It was also interesting to read about Che as a father, husband and son because I think it is forgotten that those close to him seemed to have to accept that he was a revolutionary on behalf of Latin America first and a person second. Many books about Che also forget about the people around him and how his death affected them, but this book tells us what happened to each person involved in his life after he was killed and how they were either encouraged or disheartened by the events. I think Jon Lee Anderson wrote this book very cleverly as he layed out all the facts for us in a captivating and engaging way but he still leaves room for us to come to our own conclusions about the man and his beliefs. Excellent biography with great quotes and passages from Che himself and those close to him.

  • Tresy
    2019-03-26 08:43

    A comprehensive, meticulous, if somewhat plodding biography of one of the most universally misappropriated figures of the 20th Century. I'm not yet in the Sierra Maestra with Fidel, but the prologue to Che's rendezvous with history is still compelling. Did you know he was on hand when the CIA overthrew Arbenz in Guatemala? And folks wonder why Fidel didn't wait around for the US to do the same with the Batistianos (and they tried anway). BTW, if you ever wondered where he got the nickname, it is an Argentine catchphrase mean roughly, "Hey you!" that he was apparently fond of.

  • George Huxley
    2019-03-03 09:32

    Simply magnificent. Ernesto "Che" Guevara is truly one of the best men to ever walk the Earth. If you don't like him, please, just don't talk to me, because he is amazing and you have problems if you don't even at least consider him to have the greatest picture to ever adorn a college bedroom. The ultimate Marxist revolutionary and the last word in the political counter-culture scene. And I cried when he died, so props to John Lee Anderson, but mostly props to Che for being awesome enough to make me feel emotions. X-)

  • Alex
    2019-03-23 05:25

    What I learned from this book (outside of some really great historical gems): 1) Journalists are important 2) As are Economists. Cuba could have benefited tremendously from the free operation of both. 3) Place and time matter for any revolutionary. Che could have benefited from acknowledging this.4) No one should want anyone to read their private diaries, because said diary scribe sounds like an a-hole. Sorry, Che. It's true.

  • Ali
    2019-02-26 03:46

    از متن کتاب: شور و حال عاشقانه و طرز تفکر سرد و تحلیل‌گرایانه چه، که ترکیبی نامعمول بود، ایمان تزلزل‌ناپذیر او را هر چه بیشتر تقویت می‌کرد. این آمیزه‌ی متضاد به احتمال زیاد کلید دست‌یابی او به مرتبه‌ای شبه‌عارفانه بوده است، اگرچه به نظر می‌رسد ضعف فطری او نیز از همین‌جا سرچشمه می‌گرفت؛ خیره‌سری و نوعی ساده‌لوحی معصومانه. او که در شناسایی و برآورد ابعاد وسیع راهبردهای جنگی تبحر فراوان داشت، ناگهان در یک آن از شناخت مهره‌های کوچکی که کل صفحه را تشکیل می‌دادند، عاجز می‌ماند. نمونه‌ی بارز این امر انتخاب فاجعه‌آمیز ماسه‌تی برای رهبری فوکوی آرژانتین است. در آنجا، در کوبا، در کنگو و در بولیوی، افرادی که او به آنها امید بسته بود، به‌طور مدام از برآورده کردن انتظاراتش عاجز می‌ماندند و او هم از تغییر دادن بنیادی دیگران و تبدیل کردن آنها به «کمونیست‌های از خود گذشته» عاجز مانده بود. اما در کنار اشتباهاتی که مرتکب شده بود، آن‌چه بیش از هر چیز از چه گِوارا به یاد مانده است، الگوی شخصی خود اوست، مظهر ایمان، اراده و ازخودگذشتگی.