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on May 12, 2003
It's all so long ago. I remember sitting under an eucalyptus tree in Ethiopia in 1982 and listening to Marxist-Leninist Internationalism and how peasants who had never seen an industry or a capitalist were being exploited by the forces of imperialism. Reading the classic books of Che Guevara and his obsessive dreams of emancipation by guerillas, it is almost like an exposition on the devine rights of kings or a doctrine of a flat earth. But if you know the rest of the story about this man you expect all the things he says. It all fits in with the battle of Santa Clara, his dreams of turning the Congo into Cuba or inspiring Bolivian farmers to unite in the dream of transforming the old and corrupt into something beautiful and new. I think that this book should be a required part of a liberal education, not because it preaches bloody revolution but rather that Che Guevara is an icon of our times, martyred, mutilated and buried in a field by people who would never understand why he made the sacrifices he did or even what he wanted to say.
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on April 15, 2002
Che Guevara's "Guerilla Warfare" is an excellent read invaluable to those studying latin american history, guerilla warfare and/or Guevara himself.
This is not, as Guevara put it, a guerilla warfare bible; it is a guide or outline that's meant to be improved on. He covers topics from the basics of guerilla strategy, proper guerilla conduct to what equipment to bring the field.
Guevara's book is very, very fascinating. You don't have to be a military strategist, a communist or guerilla fighter to enjoy this book. He wrote it in a very clear and consice manner that's easy to read. I think people of all backgrounds will find this book engrossing.
Again, "Guerilla Warfare" is an excellent read and fleshes out even more the man on every disgruntled anarchist's t-shirt.
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on January 30, 2002
I recall reading this book in highschool years ago as a study of the political climate during the 1960s (ironic considering that this book was written long before much of what the 60s were remembered as ever happened), and I've got say that it's still quite relevent, and important today.
I tend not to believe in the myth surrounding the freedom fighter know as Ernesto "Che" Guevara, but there is no denying his ability to write a handbook relating to the revolutionary ethics which he had used during the 1959 overthrow of the Batista dictatorship (which put Fidel Castro into power in Cuba).
Though little more than a rehash of the many revolutionary handbooks which currently exist (Abbie Hoffman's "Steal This Book", "The Warrior's Handbook" by Louis Hall, etc.) it's a great read none the less.
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on August 16, 2001
Part theoretical treatise, part manual for guerilla tactics and strategy, Che Guevara, in his thesis, attempts to provide a formula for the creation and of a small, armed and disciplined guerrilla band which, he believes, would be capable of overthrowing a large organised army. The book is animated by an impassioned desire to whip up a hemispheric socialist revolution in the aftermath of his succesful invasion of Cuba in 1956, in which he, along with Fidel Castro, among others, set the stage for the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship. Guevara discusses the qualities needed by the successful guerrilla warrior, the organisation of the guerrilla band, the methods of indoctrination and training and the tactics that should be employed to guarantee the defeat of large disciplined forces. He stresses the mobility of the guerrilla band, which is a major geographical advantage over large government armies, who are limited to a relatively stationary position due to their bulk. While the enemy loses weapons, the guerrillas retrieve them, thus gaining strength by virtue of the enemy's weakness. He draws attention to the fact that, owing to their increased mobility and flexibility, the guerrillas can remain hidden, while the enemy has no option but to remain exposed. These are precepts of solid value, culled out from Guevara's own experience as organiser of a guerrilla force. His boldest theoretical claim, however, which may be called Marxist-Leninist in its orientation, is the belief that a socialist society can be realised by the peasants, Indians and rural proletariat of Latin America without any of the economic conditions that, as orthodox Marxists insist, are essential for a successful revolution against capitalism. The guerrilla forces, as such, become the vanguard of the revolution. His emphasis on the will, instincts, popular support (and, in a way that was ahead of his time, ethnic consciousness) as the key factors in causing a revolution goes against the tenor of previous Latin American brands of communism, which were more gradualist in character, in seeing that a sufficient economic and industrial base must be in place for any revolution to succeed. The defeatism of various Marxist theoreticians of the time leads Guevara to become increasingly virulent, not only against them, but against American imperialism. In his "Address to the Tricontinental" he condemns American imperialism and insists on causing "two, three, or many Vietnams" in the hope of driving a stake through the heart of American imperialism. However, Che Guevara's voluntarist practice and his theory of internationalist revolution have come to be seen as hopelessly outdated. His "foco" theory of guerrilla warfare has been overtaken by events, after it had disastrously failed to be applied in several Latin American countries. Guevara himself lost his life in 1967, after a failed guerrilla uprising in Bolivia, in which he attempted to put his theory into practice. Another weakness was that Guevara had generalised a very unique experience, -- the invasion of Cuba, -- into a normative standard for any successful insurrection. To many in the present generation, the idea of revolution has itself come to be seen as a dead-end or, at worst, a joke. Nevertheless, Che's life, a shining spark in the era of protest, violence, idealism and revolution, serves as a lesson in when to revolt, in how to refuse to be treated as an outcast and a servant, and in how dedicated a man can be in his struggle against the unjust social order that tyrannically oppresses its most disadvantaged members. It was not Cohn-Bendit, but Che Guevara whom Jean-Paul Sartre called "the most complete man of his time" in his selfless dedication, his courage, his vision and in the Christ-like sacrifice of his own life for the poor and downtrodden in whom he believed.
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on October 15, 1998
This book gives us the manual needed for revloution. Che hits home with his candid ideas about guerrilla warfare. The case studies that the editors added to this version help to show that the conditions that Che spoke about in Latin America 40 years ago, still exist and that the time for another revolution could be near.
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on March 17, 2000
To all those that say that Mr Guevara is your hero, I wonder if your hero worship would include emulation of such deeds as summarily executing a child soldier who took "too much" food, or other such atrocities that have no place in any revolution. I leave it to you to decide whether or not Che was a true hero, but there can be no doubt that his knowledge of guerilla warfare was supurb, and that opression leads to revolution, and that a guerilla insurgency cannot flourish without the will of the people. I may not hold Che to be my hero, but I do find his theories of guerilla insurgency stil valid to this day, and for that, I do respect his theories, if not his brutal actions.
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on May 13, 1998
Ernesto "che" Guevara's book is great for information and history from his days with castro to his death in bolivia. Che is with all the grat others like Karl Marx, Mao Tse-Tung,John Dewey,Noam Chomsky....etc
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on May 17, 2002
This is very detailed about technics of war. While many of these techniques are out of date it is still applicable in some respects. But if your not a Marxist or native american I would buy another book.
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on June 17, 2002
A fine introduction to Che, the man, the revolutionary and his rhetoric. The material is comprehensive and objective. Moreover, it is well written and engaging.
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on January 5, 2016
This is a very breezy read, and comes across as a very sociological piece in that it makes note of the importance not only of small groups but the backing of towns and villages along the countryside. Only a little time is spent on discussing guerilla warfare in urban centers apart from crippling infrastructure such as roads and electrical grids. If you have the time, read the introduction to the text, it describes the context of the writing and all the main elements of Che's philosophy on the matter.
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