Che's Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin by Paulo Drinot

By Paulo Drinot

Ernesto “Che” Guevara two times traveled throughout Latin the United States within the early Fifties. according to his debts of these journeys (published in English as The bike Diaries and Back at the Road), in addition to different old assets, Che’s Travels follows Guevara, kingdom through state, from his local Argentina via Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela, after which from Argentina via Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. each one essay is targeted on a unmarried nation and written via a professional in its background. Taken jointly, the essays shed new mild on Che’s youth by means of reading the specific societies, histories, politics, and cultures he encountered on those journeys, the methods they affected him, and the methods he represented them in his travelogues. as well as supplying new insights into Guevara, the essays supply a clean point of view on Latin America’s adventure of the chilly struggle and the interaction of nationalism and anti-imperialism within the the most important yet really understudied Fifties. Assessing Che’s legacies within the international locations he visited in the course of the trips, the members study how he's remembered or memorialized; how he's invoked for political, cultural, and non secular reasons; and the way perceptions of him have an effect on rules concerning the revolutions and counterrevolutions fought in Latin the US from the Nineteen Sixties throughout the 1980s.

Contributors
Malcolm Deas
Paulo Drinot
Eduardo Elena
Judith Ewell
Cindy Forster
Patience A. Schell
Eric Zolov
Ann Zulawski

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The episode points to the ≤∫ Eduardo Elena crucial di√erence between Guevara and the majority of those on the road in the Peronist era: his class background and relative privilege allowed him the leisure to travel ‘‘uselessly,’’ at least from the linyera’s perspective. Guevara defended the value of traveling in a free manner, liberated from the responsibilities of work and the routines of everyday life, but at the same time he rejected the paradigm of tourism. He saw himself as something more, as someone dedicated to the serious business of investigating the inner workings of society.

Nor would it stop subsequent guerrilla movements like the Ejército Revolutionario del Pueblo (Revolutionary People’s Army) from pursuing similar tactics in the 1960s and 1970s. More unexpectedly, the impact of Guevara’s involvement in the Cuban Revolution was felt in Peronist circles as well. In a twist of Argentine history, the former anti-Peronist critic became a hero to many of its partisans. Guevara himself reacted with disappointment to Perón’s overthrow in 1955. As he wrote to his mother, in the midst of his second long trek across the continent: ‘‘I confess to you quite frankly that Perón’s fall has greatly embittered me, not on his account but because of what it means for the Americas.

But the pull between these opposing impulses helps to explain why he would stay on the political sidelines during this turbulent age. Yet the task of isolating oneself from Peronism was none too easy in Argentina in the 1950s. Passages from The Motorcycle Diaries capture the ubiquity, even inescapability, of Peronism. Indeed, the very idea for Guevara’s odyssey across Latin America was intertwined ≥∏ Eduardo Elena with a central Peronist ritual, for plans for the motorcycle trip were hatched on 17 October.

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