Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War

Ernesto Che Guevara

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Che's definitive account of the Cuban revolutionary war, the source of Che: Part 1, the 2008 film by Steven Soderbergh, starring Benicio del Toro

After a long pre-history, the actual Cuban revolutionary war itself only lasted, incredibly, a little over two years, from Dec 2, 1956, to January 1, 1959--from the disastrous first battle, in which three-quarters of the expeditionary force of 82 revolutionaries that traveled to Cuba on the Granma were killed, to total victory at the beginning of January 1959. And there is no better account of the war than this little book by guerilla leader Che Guevara, assembled by Che from his campaign diary, first published in 1963, later corrected and edited by Che, and published here finally in an authoritative edition that not only includes Che's corrections, but also, in Part 2 a number of short essays and articles published by Che in those early years after the revolution's triumph. As always, Che's writing is intimate, searching, and self-critical. Written, like The Motorcycle Diaries, mostly in diary form, Reminiscences is "more distinctive, refined" in style as his daughter Aleida Guevara notes in her foreword, but still with Che's "early sparkle and dynamism."

Having initially joined the Cuban expedition as troop doctor, Che describes his dilemma in having to choose between a backpack of medicines and a box of ammunition (he chose the box of ammunition). Within months, he is promoted to guerrilla commander. In another justly famous chapter of the book, "The Murdered Puppy," Che describes how he had to give the order to have a puppy killed. Throughout Reminiscences, the sweep of history and matters of life and death are rendered in small and intimate ways. Originally published as a series of articles for Cuban papers, this thoroughly updated edition includes, for the first time, corrections made by Che himself to the first published edition, a foreword by Che's daughter Aleida Guevara, and 32 pages of photos and maps of the guerrilla campaign.

After first witnessing the Bolivian Revolution and then, in 1954, the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala by U.S.-backed forces,
Ernesto Che Guevara escaped to Mexico, where he sought out a group of Cuban revolutionaries exiled in Mexico City, led by Fidel Castro, and immediately enlisted in their cause. The Cubans nicknamed him "Che," a popular form of address in his native Argentina. The group set sail for Cuba on November 25, 1956, aboard the yacht Granma, with Che as the group's doctor. Within several months, Fidel had appointed him a commander of the Rebel Army, though he also continued to minister to wounded guerrilla fighters and captured Cuban government soldiers. Throughout the war Che kept a diary, and it is this diary that forms the basis of the book that would first be published in 1963 under the title Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War.

     After General Batista flees Cuba on January 1, 1959, Che becomes one of the key leaders of the new revolutionary government. He is also the most important representative of the Cuban Revolution internationally, heading numerous delegations and earning a reputation as a passionate and articulate spokesperson for Third World peoples. In April 1965, Che departs from Cuba to lead a guerrilla mission of some two hundred Cuban soldiers to support the revolutionary struggle in Congo, a mission he recounts in Congo Diary. After returning to Cuba in December 1965, Che prepares another guerrilla force, this time to Bolivia, where he arrives in November 1966, intending to challenge the country's military dictatorship. As in Congo, there emerge fault lines that prevent him from receiving popular support in Bolivia. He is captured there by U.S.-trained counterinsurgency forces on October 8, 1967, and murdered in cold blood the next day. His Bolivian diaries were later edited and published as The Bolivian Diary. Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War is one of the very few books by Che that was published in book form during his lifetime.


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 320
Erscheinungsdatum 26.10.2021
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-64421-107-6
Verlag Random House N.Y.
Gewicht 367 g


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