El Che” Guevara

Che: Selected Works of Ernesto Guevara

edited by Rolando E. Bonachea, edited by Nelson P. Valdés
MIT, 512 pp., $12.50

Obras, 1957-1967

by E. Che Guevara
Maspero: Paris, 2 vols. pp.

Oeuvres

by Ernesto Che Guevara
Maspero: Paris, 4 vols. pp.

Opere

by Ernesto Che Guevara
Feltrinelli: Milan, 4 vols. pp.

Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War

by Ernesto Che Guevara, translated by Victoria Ortiz
Monthly Review Press, 287 pp., $1.25 (paper)

Guerrilla Warfare

by Che Guevara, translated by J.P. Morray
Vintage, 133 pp., $1.65 (paper)

Che Guevara und die Revolution

by Heinz Rudolf Sonntag et al.
Fischer: Frankfurt

Obra Revolucionaria

edited by Roberto Fernández Retamar
Era: Mexico

Venceremos! The Speeches and Writings of Ernesto Che Guevara

edited by John Gerassi
Simon & Schuster, 440 pp., $2.95 (paper)

Che” Guevara on Revolution: A Documentary Overview

edited by Jay Mallin
University of Miami, 255 pp., $7.95

Che Guevara Speaks, Selected Speeches and Writings

edited by George Lavan
Grove, 159 pp., $.95 (paper)

Scritti, discorsi e diari di guerriglia (1959-1967)

edited by Laura González
Einaudi: Turin

La Pensée de Che Guevara

by Michael Lowy
Maspero: Paris

Che, Vida y Obra de Ernesto Guevara

by Andrés Sorel
Ebro: Paris

Che Guevara

by Andrew Sinclair
Viking, 128 pp., $1.65 (paper)

Ernesto “Che” Guevara

by Jean-Jacques Nattiez
Seghers: Paris

Viva Che! Contributions in Tribute to Ernesto “Che” Guevara

edited by Marianne Alexandre
Dutton, 128 pp., $1.75 (paper)

The Black Beret: The Life and Meaning of Che Guevara

by Marvin D. Resnick
Ballantine, 308 pp., $1.25 (paper)

Che Guevara

by Philippe Gavi
Editions Universitaires: Paris

El Che Guevara

by Hugo Gambini
Paidos: Buenos Aires

My Friend Ché

by Ricardo Rojo, translated by Hardie St. Martin
Dial, 248 pp., $4.95

Che: The Making of a Legend

by Martin Ebon
Universe, 226 pp., $5.95

Che” Guevara, ¿Aventura o Revolución?

by Horacio Daniel Rodríguez
Plaza y Janes: Barcelona

Che” Guevara

by Franco Pierini
Longanesi: Milan

Ché Guevara

by Daniel James
Stein & Day, 380 pp., $7.95

Brandstiftung oder neuer Fried? Reden und Aufsätze

by Ernesto Che Guevara
Rowohlt: Hamburg

The guerrilleros of Latin America are in for racking trouble in the next few years. Never protected by Moscow or helped by Peking, and now forsaken by Havana, they must fight on alone. But reduced in numbers, at odds with each other, short of allies and resources, nearly out of room to maneuver, they are hardly up to defending themselves, much less “liberating” the continent. Their strategy itself is in confusion, for they bear a prodigious legacy—that of the most attractive revolutionary the West has seen in thirty years, “El Che” Guevara, the meaning of whose life has come into question.

The consensus among revolutionaries is that “El Che” was a hero, and evidently he was. He came abruptly from nowhere, to make his portrait an emblem and his nickname a byword in cities around the world. His daring, frankness, ambition, and wit impressed everyone who met him, and many more who have only read about him. He operated consciously on a grand scale, figuring ultimately as a champion of all the wretched of the earth.

Moreover, he committed himself to his struggle completely, positively, happily, without the normal reservations of guilt. In this commitment he thrived, his confidence so mounting, his sincerity so clearing, his humor so cutting, that his dedication seems to have been no sacrifice but a satisfaction. Even the skeptics grant his “integrity.” And at the end, after the stupefying campaign in Bolivia, he died beautifully as the brave captive. No one who knew him grieved as if his death were a surprise. It was, as Fidel suggested, “part of his personality.” Like ancient heroes, “El Che” had always beamed premonitions that there was nothing amazing he might not do in living or in dying.

The question is, what difference does a dead hero make to the guerrilleros?

He learned his way to power as a baby, too soon ever to change and too well to keep to his own class or country. In the Argentine winter of 1928 he was born to quarrelsome parents stuck on business in a factory town in the pampas. He was their first child. Father Guevara was a restless and tender man, descended from provincial notables, schooled skimpily as an engineer, one of twelve heirs to very little. Mother Guevara was a willful and pretty girl, pedigreed from the viceroyalty, a star in fancy escapades in her native Buenos Aires, heiress to a large estate. One cold fall day when the baby was almost two—after his mother had taken him swimming at her yacht club in the Buenos Aires suburbs—he had an attack of asthma. Recurrent attacks panicked the parents out of their quarrels, into frantic anxieties about the child. In 1932, for his sake, the Guevaras moved to a town in the hills in the interior, Alta Gracia. “What determined a great part of our life,” the father eventually concluded, “was Ernestito’s furious asthma.”

Through the 1930s the Guevara house in Alta Gracia was a …

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