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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,671 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jon Lee Anderson Narrator: Armando Durán Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781455193745
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This acclaimed national bestseller is the definitive work on Che Guevara, the dashing rebel whose epic dream was to end poverty and injustice in Latin America and the developing world through armed revolution. Anderson traces Che’s extraordinary life from his comfortable Argentine upbringing to the battlefields of the Cuban revolution, from the halls of power in Castro’s government to his failed campaign in the Congo and his assassination in the Bolivian jungle. With unprecedented access to personal archives, government documents, and rare interviews, Anderson reveals many details of Che’s life that have long been cloaked in secrecy and intrigue. Meticulously researched and full of exclusive information, Che Guevara illuminates as never before this mythic figure who embodied the high-water mark of revolutionary Communism as a force in history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Anderson’s book is an epic end run around the guardians of the Che legend…One of the things that [his] dogged reporting has enabled him to do is to tell us, in wonderful new detail, about the hero as a youth.”

    New Yorker

  • “Superb…Anderson does a masterly job in evoking Che’s complex character, in separating the man from the myth…[The book] is especially interesting for being written from a largely Cuban perspective.”

    New York Times Book Review 

  • “Excellent…admirably honest [and] staggeringly researched…It is unlikely that after Anderson’s exhaustive contribution, much more will be learned about Guevara.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “An enduring achievement. It is hard to imagine that any [other biography] will match the volume and detail of the research here…[Guevara’s] victories and failures, equally spectacular, are part of our common history…Che lives, not only in this book, but in the world.”

    Boston Globe

  • “[Che’s] ideal, that curious mixture of resoluteness and recklessness…is brilliantly evoked in Jon Lee Anderson’s massive biography which traces, with exacting precision, the avatars of Che’s epic life…The portrait is now as complete as it will ever be.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “The incredible life of the Cuban revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara is documented in this thorough, compulsively engaging 1997 biography and inspiration for Steven Soderbergh’s 2008 biopic…leaving no event, personal or political, unanalyzed. Armando Durán gives a brilliant performance that captures Che in all his contradictions. Duran displays his inherent acting ability in this reading that does full justice to the prose and never fails to captivate despite the near 37-hour length.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • “The gifted bilingual narrator Armando Durán speaks both American English and the abundant Latin-American Spanish without a trace of accent from the other. His fluency with both languages synchronizes the messenger with the message. He enunciates every word with precision and chooses a pace that will keep listeners’ attention for all 36-plus hours. Together, in language rich with personal and political details, both author and narrator produce a riveting biography of a career revolutionary.”

    AudioFile

  • “An important journalistic biography that is sympathetic to this influential figure. Though controversy will surround this book (as it always does when the subject is Che), this is an important volume that should be in all academic and most public libraries.”

    Library Journal

  • “[An] exceptional and exciting biography…Anderson’s up-close look, with beauty marks and tragic flaw so effortlessly rendered, brings the reader face to face with a man whose ‘unshakable faith in his beliefs was made more powerful by his unusual combination of romantic passion and a coldly analytical mind…An invaluable addition to the literature of American revolutionaries.”

    Booklist

  • “A sweeping biography of the Latino revolutionary and pop-culture hero…Anderson paints a portrait of Guevara as both hero and fanatic…Students of Che’s life and deeds need look no farther than Anderson’s volume.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • ANewsday’s Favorite Books of the Year 1997
  • AnAudioFile Earphones Award winner
  • AnAudioFile Best Voicefor biographies 2009
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice of 1997
  • ANew York Times Notable Book of the year 1997
  • AVillage Voice Literary Supplement 25 Favorite Book of the Year 1997

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristian Mcminn | 2/15/2014

    " More detail of personal life and relationships than any other books "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pete D'angelo | 2/6/2014

    " this was a great biography of an enigmatic revolutionary. the author goes into great detail beginning from che's early childhood. it's a fascinating evolution, from his days as a young doctor volunteering at leprosy clinics, to his eventual emergence as an ascetic revolutionary, proclaiming change can only be brought about through violence. i enjoyed the post-cuban revolution part of the history best, and think che would have been better off staying in cuba instead of leaving to start guerrilla wars in other countries when cuba's own situation was so precarious. his end was anti-climatic and a little sad. even though i didn't feel too much sympathy with him overall, i could understand his hatred for american imperialism in south and central america. his methods and ideas of social revolution tho i felt were seriously flawed "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Raul Barcia | 2/4/2014

    " Good insight into the life of a great revolutionary hero. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie | 1/12/2014

    " Waaaay too long and waay too detailed. I downloaded the audio which came in 40 parts. I got to about 27 and decided to take a break and realized I had no interest in returning to it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karamagi | 1/8/2014

    " ...the more I learned about Che, the less I idealized him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie Williams | 1/1/2014

    " Could have been done in less words, I'm just sayin, but interesting none the less. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gronum | 12/13/2013

    " Never thought that someone's life could be documented so well. Especially someone as famous as him. A great insight into the great man Che was (is... as his spirit is alive and well) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 KeTURah | 12/6/2013

    " 5 stars for the amazing and unprecedented amount of research that went into this book. Take away 1 star for awful editing (there are tons of grammar and spelling mistakes). Take away another star for personal reasons (wanton violence). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Savannah Williams | 11/12/2013

    " A well written bio about a great character from recent history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 blackness | 11/4/2013

    " a most in depth look at Che. Greatly help me understand the guy behind the shirts, and make up my mind about what I think about him and what he stands for. Really loved all of the insight surrounding his life during the beginning stages of the Cuban Revolution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Valletta | 9/22/2013

    " The man behind the legend is more of a legend than I thought. A wild ride through the life and times of the one and only CHE. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sasha | 8/5/2013

    " The definitive history... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelsey Sloan | 7/30/2013

    " I've searched for years for something I can read that will tell me the most unbiased history of this man, and this book is it. Don't let the 754 pages scare you, it is a must-read for anyone interested in the full history of the legend, in the most objective way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie Rose | 4/4/2013

    " Amazing biography about a very passionate and dedicated idealist. Gives a different perspective about the intentions of an ideal that most of us think is ludicrous. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista619 | 7/18/2012

    " This book is awesome if a bit hard to get through with many dates and names. I like that it delves into his home life and personal life as the movie Che did not as all. It answered many questions I had concerning him and Fidel as well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick | 11/15/2011

    " Ponderous detail but I don't know much about this iconic figure and am going to tough it out until I'm finished with the book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Toni | 9/7/2011

    " This is my favorite biography, and one of my FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME!!!!! The story of Che Guevara is informational and yet reads like an action thriller. He is one of my idols now, and I wish I could meet him. Everything he stood for has inspired me and will inspire you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet Leigh | 5/22/2011

    " Very well written. Leaves you with the realisation that Che was a very flawed personality, spoiled, womanising and ruthless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 4/7/2011

    " read this one twice. very inspiring, and fairly unbiased but needs a critical eye. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron | 4/5/2011

    " no, i don't believe che had all the right answers. but this is an amazing story of a group of rebels who beat incredible odds to overthrow Batista and claim an island to experiment with their socialism. you don't have to agree with them to be amazed with the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 3/16/2011

    " I learned a lot!
    Argentina, Cuba, Congo, and Bolivia.
    With lots of side trips to Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, China, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 3/7/2011

    " Very interesting book and an interesting topic. A much more complicated historical figure than I realized. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelsey | 1/27/2011

    " I've searched for years for something I can read that will tell me the most unbiased history of this man, and this book is it. Don't let the 754 pages scare you, it is a must-read for anyone interested in the full history of the legend, in the most objective way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eliz | 1/3/2011

    " My favorite biography so far. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Les | 12/16/2010

    " I am going to ask everyone who wears a shirt with his picture on it, if they know a damn thing about him or not. Viva la revolution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 10/8/2010

    " Probably more than anyone needs to know about Che. Still interesting if you seek history. "

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About the Author
Author Jon Lee Anderson

Jon Lee Anderson began working as a reporter in 1979 for the Lima Times in Peru. During the 1980s he covered Central America first for the syndicated columnist Jack Anderson and later for Time magazine. He has also written for the New York Times, Nation, Harper’s, Life, and the Nation and is the author of Guerillas: Journeys in the Insurgent World.

About the Narrator

Armando Durán has appeared in films, television, and regional theaters throughout the West Coast. For the last decade he has been a member of the resident acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2009 he was named by AudioFile as Best Voice in Biography and History for his narration of Che Guevara. A native Californian, he divides his time between Los Angeles and Ashland, Oregon.