On 14 June 1928, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born in Rosario, Argentina. A charismatic boy who loved jokes and shunned bathing, the first signs of Che's radical perspective began to show long beofre his famous motorcycle journey around South America in 1953. Assembled from two separate books- My Son Che and A Soldier of the Americas- written by Che's father, The Young Che is a wonderfully vivid narrative through Che's bourgeois but nonconformist childhood, the people, books and political events that shaped him, through to the moment he joined Castro to train for the invasion of Cuba. It also includes, published for the first time anywhere, Che's diary of his bicycle journey around Northern Argentina in 1950 and draws on his letters home as he travels further and further afield on his journeys into Latin America. Charting his excitement at what he sees, the spontaneous empathy he feels for those he meets and the humour with which he conveys his feelings, this landmark book- edited and translated by Lucia Alvarez de Toledo- sheds new light on the development of an intrepid, compassionate and adventurous boy who grew up to become an iconic hero throughout the world.
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(198mm x 129mm x 24mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A welcome trove of fresh biographical material about a revolutionary who cast a gargantuan shadow over the 20th century.First published in Britain in 2007, Toledo's translation is culled from two memoirs written by Guevara's adoring father, Ernesto Guevara Lynch. Although rife with hagiography, the volume still paints a vivid portrait of the Argentine medical student who helped topple the Batista regime in Cuba. The first half is mostly in the voice of Guevara Lynch, who died in 1987, and is somewhat hit and miss. His descriptions of the family's tense monitoring from afar of Che's surprising (to them) involvement in the Cuban Revolution are dramatic. But that section and a lengthy account of Che's childhood in Argentina are hindered by chest-swelling paternal pride and frequently flat prose. The real gold comes in Che's voice, heard in an intelligently edited series of journal entries and letters that comprise the bulk of the book. Discovered five years after his death in the basement of the Buenos Aires apartment building where his family lived, the journal entries describe his solo 1950 motorcycle trip through northern Argentina; they make a colorful travelogue and a nice complement to the better-known account of his 1952 odyssey across South America. Che's correspondence with his extended family brings him even more alive. Written as he traveled north to Central America, the letters create a strong picture of his powerfully restless intellect, casually warm humor and enduring wanderlust. Che's interests were impressively wide-ranging, from archaeology to allergy research, and his correspondence demonstrates a deep commitment to each of them. The letters' joshing tone doesn't obscure his growing commitment to revolution, particularly after personally witnessing the brutal U.S.-sponsored coup in Guatemala.The Che shown here seems not just a man of history, but somebody it would have been great to know. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Ernesto Guevara Lynch
Ernesto Guevara Lynch was born in 1900 of Irish and Basque origin. He is the father of Che Guevara. Lucia Alvarez de Toledo grew up and was educated in Argentina and was awarded a Scholarship at the University of Delhi, where she read philosophy. Having worked as a journalist and broadcaster in her native Argentina, she settled in London in 1968 and established herself as a professional interpreter and translator. Her background, knowledge of Latin America and long-standing interest in the life and works of Ernesto Che Guevara have enabled her to bring a unique understanding to the first English language translation - and the editing - of this book.