Che Guevara

You Win or You Die
October 2012. 88p. 978-0-82259-035-4. 33.27.
Gr 8 Up–Guevara was, and is, an iconic figure of revolutionary movements everywhere. His passion for economic justice was legendary, and his determination to fight capitalism was unwavering. This biography, with a focus on how Guevara grew into his revolutionary ideals, describes a middle-class, educated upbringing that allowed, and encouraged, young Che to explore all avenues, eventually leading to a degree in medicine. Eschewing life as a doctor, he traveled in Latin America, where his encounters with peasants helped form his ideology. In Guatemala he met Fidel Castro, and together they led a bloody, and ultimately successful, revolution against a brutal dictator in Cuba, cementing a global reputation as a hero to some, and an enemy of businesses and capitalism in the United States and its allies. The narrative is accessible and compelling, and a solid introduction to the life and times of Guevara, providing both detail and context to a complicated, thoughtful man. Black-and-white photographs offer a good visual supplement and help explain part of the mystique surrounding the handsome, charismatic Guevara. Extensive back matter, including a Who’s Who section and a summarizing time line, will be especially helpful to researchers. A solid choice for any library.–Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
This well-written biography introduces Ernesto "Che" Guevara Lynch Jr., a privileged, asthmatic Argentinean who became a guerilla fighter, CIA nemesis, and iconic hero for the oppressed and poor. Sidebars, photographs, and primary sources add depth to the engaging narrative, providing insight into a man at the center of Cold War history and controversy. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Doeden traces Malcolm's early life, prison years, conversion to the Nation of Islam, and rise to prominence, providing historical context for the discussion. Some over-generalizations (e.g., "the civil rights movement was a success") are misleading, and Malcolm's influential Autobiography is hardly mentioned. The narrative is supported by lots of photographs and text boxes. Reading list, timeline. Bib., glos., ind.

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