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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

He became a myth in his own lifetime and an international martyr-figure upon his death; he was a revolutionary fighter, a military strategist, a social philosopher, an economist, a medical doctor and a friend and confidant of Fidel Castro. Che Guevara's dream was an epic one - to unite Latin America and the rest of the developing world through armed revolution and to end once and for all the poverty, injustice and petty nationalisms that had bled it for centuries. 

In the end Che failed in his quest, but he is recognised as that one-in-a-million personality who just might have pulled it off.

Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life shuttles between the revolutionary capitals of Havana and Algiers to the battlegrounds of Bolivia and the Congo; from the halls of power in Moscow and Washington to the exile havens of Miami, Mexico and Guatemala, in a gripping tale of revolution, international intrigue and covert operations. 

It has an epic sweep as it evokes an era of tumultuous change, describing major events like the Bay of Pigs invasion, the October Missile crisis and Kennedy's assassination. Among its cast of characters are scores of historic personalities including Castro, Kennedy, Kruschev, Mao Tse-tung, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, to name but a few.

Jon Lee Anderson has been given unprecedented access to the Cuban Government's archives and has had total co-operation from Che's widow, Aleida March, who has never previously spoken for publication about her late husband. He has obtained hitherto unpublished documents, including several of Che's personal diaries and, in the course of his research, broke open a 28-year-old mystery - the whereabouts of Che's body in Bolivia. 

There is no doubt that this monumental work will stand as the definitive portrait of one of the 20th century's most fascinating, yet largely unexplored, historical figures.

©2020 Jon Lee Anderson (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Profile Image for The Bee
  • The Bee
  • 28-02-2021

So much more than a biography of Che Guevara

This book is huge and clobbers you with information not only about Guevaras life but also his family, friends, comrades, South American society, the Cuban Revolution, history of South America in the mid-20th century and the early cold war. And, of course, US-American influence on the world stage and Russian and Chinese communism.

If you are interested in history you'll love this book. If you only want to know about Che's life it's much too much. I enjoyed listening to it but reading it would have been too much.

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  • Mr T J Colley
  • 03-06-2021

Not for the faint hearted but worth it.

If you’re wanting a quick review of Che’s life, going over the basics, this isn’t the audiobook for you (it isn’t until hour 6 that Che meets Fidel Castro).

It is, however, amazingly detailed with the author accessing key people in Che’s life, with new information coming to light in this book. The breadth of the story from Che’s childhood, to his death as a guerrilla in Bolivia, is vast and Anderson tells the story well, despite hundreds of characters and having to frame Che’s story within the context of his Marxist and later Maoist beliefs - which can be difficult to understand to a layperson.

I am very pleased they got a native Spanish speaker to narrate the story. This means names and places are pronounced accurately and not butchered as in some other audiobooks.

I would recommend this to anyone wanting a deep dive into the life of, arguably, the world’s most famous revolutionary.

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