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Extended Audio Sample Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, by Jon Lee Anderson Click for printable size audiobook cover
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 Durá Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.”


  • “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.”


  • “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

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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.