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Guerrilla Warfare
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on August 18, 2012
The book itself specifically states that a lot of these ideas do not hold up in modern society. Which is perfect, because I bought it fully knowing that. With this knowledge, buy the book and learn about a time in the world when this was reasonable thought, and Mr. Guevara was a genuine threat. The feeling of revolution runs deep through his writings.
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on January 20, 2016
kind of outdated....i mean who is really reading these reviews anyway
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on October 16, 2017
Great read written by a true revolutionary.
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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 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.
9 people found this helpful
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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 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.
4 people found this helpful
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on July 26, 1999
Most people feel the need to regard this book as an instruction manual. It was intended as such, but as a mature reader, one should take the context into account. This book embodies the spirit of a courageous warrior who's attributes all of us wish we had. This book is recomended not just for those aspiring to revolt against their oppressors, but those who wish to learn of the ideals of one of the greatest men ever born.
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on July 19, 2001
I'd recommend this book to only two types of readers. The first is the serious student of Che Guevera. His prose is poor, and his logic is constrained by the shibboleths of Marxism-Leninism, but it nonetheless provides a window into Che's own thoughts on the practicalities of revolution. The second group for whom this book would be of value is the student of guerrilla warfare. Now, Che's book is probably the last I'd recommend to anyone in that area (there are too many other books that are much better), but it is not without some merit.
The bottom line of this book is that Che has some very interesting toughts on revolution and guerrilla warfare. However, for the student of guerrilla warfare, Che's words must ultimately be taken with a big grain of salt. The corruption and incompetentence of the Batista regime and its rag-tag army made Che's war in Cuba a little too easy. When he encountered tougher foes in the Congo and Bolivia, he accomplished little but his own martyrdom. This is simply not the work of one of the great military leaders in his field, merely one of the most publicized.
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on February 16, 2001
I purchased and read this book because I had read a biography on Che Guevera ("Che"), and was expecting hardcore, insightful, tactical and managerial information.
The truth, however, is that this books is crammed with Che's own political ideologies, and one gets the impression that the author (sorry Che) is more interested in "convincing" than he is in "explaining".
Truth be told, many people (including Che himself) have tried to stage and carry out revolutions based on the teachings of this book-- Che himself tried and failed twice, paying with his life the second time. I have no hard numbers on the others, but I suspect most of them are dead, or in prison.
There are mountains of condradictions in his work. He tries to make revolution seem as simple as baking a cake. Che wants you to believe in this so much that he does not properly explore his own ideas.
I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in the life of Che Guevera, but only as a tool to gain a better understanding of who he was.
As a book on tactics, there are some good tidbits, but I've seen other books with more quality information.
I am a fan of Che, but not of this book.
2 people found this helpful
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