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on 30 July 2009
An ever-present aspect of Che Guevara's writing is the human touch. Ideologue he may have been, but as with The Motorcycle Diaries, he never fails to understand the person, be they friend or foe.

I've been lucky enough to visit the Sierra Maestra and it was hard enough, even for a well-nourished westerner, to trek the path used by the revolutionaries, so quite how this asthmatic and weakly young man managed to tread this path countless times, let alone march hundreds of miles and conduct a war against an enemy hugely superior in numbers, is mind-boggling.

The success of the Cuban revolution is one of the great stories of the twentieth century, and in Che Guevara, it has the narrator it fully deserves.
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on 15 November 2000
This diary is both an important historical document and an insight into the mind of a twentieth century icon. After his failure in the Congo, Major Ernesto Guevara was determined to suceed in his native South America. He was doomed to failure from the start. His diary shows the terrible hardships endured by him and his revolutionaries. From illness and starvation, to the deaths of comrades and friends, Che's diary documents it all. A mixture of the emotional and the ordinary. Che Guevara was assassinated by the CIA backed Bolivian army; but his death was only the beginning of the legend. Although this version doesn't include the diaries of Che's comrades it remains a must for all those wishing to find the real Che Guevara.
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on 24 April 2003
For those of us not used to reading historical accounts & text books (at least since our student days) or anyone who his only a reader of novels, this isn't the easiest of books to pick up & read. However as a text and historical dicument about one of the most compelling and magical figures of modern history, this book is an absolute must.
I recently visited Cuba and was fascinated by the imagery and importance attached to Che. It was this visit and the obvious profound effect that this man had on an entire culture that kindled my desire to learn more.
I would suggest to anyone to read a bigraphy first, but the tale of suffering, sacrifice, bravery and commitment told through Che's eye's puts the whole story into focus. Well worth the read for anyone interested in the man.
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`Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War' is Che Guevara's diary of the Cuban revolution and rather than being a straight narrative, from A-Z, of the war, it is more a collection of episodes that include various battles and other aspects of war logistics. It is written with his unique short, descriptive sentences and you are quickly drawn in to the accounts on offer. The first half is the text from the original book and the second half includes various other articles and accounts he wrote afterwards that flesh out the details. The various battles are exciting to read about and his revolutionary zeal and drive show through on every page. This book also has numerous black and white photos in a middle photo plate section, as well as a comprehensive glossary that list the various combatants and key players on both sides. If you are interested in the Cuban Revolution, or Che, then this is required reading. It shows a side of the war from one man who was intimately involved and it is well written and engaging to boot. Well worth a read.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 16 May 2012
Having just returned from a weeks tour of the northern half of Cuba I wanted to gain a further insight into the background of the Cuban Revolution as seen through the eyes of Che Guevara. I couldn't have chosen a more insightful book - fascinating reading. Having read this one I'm tempted to read further books by Che. Inspirational! Recommended for anyone planning a touring visit or someone who has just returned and wants to learn more.
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on 28 July 1999
This collection of memories conveys the excitement, zeal, possibilities, problems and limitations of Guevara's "guerilla warfare" strategy as it was practiced in the Sierra Maestra. At times, one can almost hear Guevara wheezing as he traverses the rugged terrain. It is, in general, light on ideological substance and heavy on battlefield drama. A classic nonetheless...
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on 14 August 2015
I bought this and the Cuban diary at the same time. I read the Cuban diary immediately, watched both films made from the books and have only recently read the Bolivian diary.

Having finished this two days ago I have to say I was disappointed. In comparison to the first book this is a little boring at times and is essentially a continual description of walking through the jungle and clearing paths. I was never clear about what Che & his followers were trying to achieve, unlike the Cuban diary.

The best part of this book is the glossery, where you are told about most of the main players, their individual achievements and in the case of the revolutionaries, their battles & their deaths in combat with the relevant dates. This gives you a much better picture of the amount of fighting they were involved in with the Bolivian Army. Very little of these battles and losses/victories is mentioned in Che's writing which leads me to think he wasn't actually involved in most of them or decided not to write about them.

Having said that, anyone who has an interest in one of the most influential and important individuals from the 20th century should definitely have this as a part of the whole Che collection.
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on 9 September 2009
If you have followed the adventures of Ernesto"Che" Guevara from his personal diaries, starting with his initial trip on an Old Triumph motorcycle around South America to his battles in the Cuban hillside and forests, you will certainly wish to catch up with his final and fateful entries in this book. Although, perhaps difficult in style to read at first, this book as with the previous other diaries, show how over the years of his short life, "Che" establishes himself as a real people person.
This book will not dissapoint and together with the added sections and appendicies, including an introduction by Fidel Castro, will give the reader a real insight into what really happened in Bolivia.
For me, who has always been slightly dissatisfied by the whole "Che " Guevara cult status, this set of books and in particular the last, have put to bed all those misconceptions and leave the reader with an understanding that "Che" was a real person, trying very hard, often under extreme conditions, to do what he thought was right. He went from student to General in just a few years and effected the political/ social world of 60'Latin America.

Jeff Steers
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on 13 November 2007
Che excites debate. His image, his actions, his reputation and his motivations are still argued over forty years after his death in 1967. Even the authenticity of these diaries was questioned when first published in Cuba, after all, how did they survive, when their author didn't?

We all know the ending Che was shot by the CIA backed Bolivian military - it sounds sinister, but weren't all South American military backed by the CIA in the Sixties. They record Che's last campaign, fought in the Bolivian cloud forests they tell a story of the mundanity of a guerilla fighter's life. They could be the diaries of a lieutenant, in any one of several modern wars, leading a company of men in enemy territory with only their wits to survive. There is plenty of mud, near misses, misfortune and the leader's concerns about how to hold together a group of unsupported, under-fed and increasingly depleted fighters, whilst surrounded by hostile forces and local people who don't understand or are unsympathetic to their presence.

What sets the book apart is the insights it gives into the mind of Che, what made him tick, what drove him on. He emerges as a fighter with a cause, a man who knew what he believed in, was willing to kill for it and ultimately die for it. For me Che comes across as neither hero, nor villain, just a man fighting for a cause, his folly was few others in Bolivia shared it with him. Che was killed by the logistical failings of his guerilla campaign, combined with a lack of support from the people touched by it. Che is clear about these failings in the diaries and it's a measure of the man that despite them he continued to fight for what he believed.
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on 28 July 2011
This is a great book for anyone that would like to learn or is interested in the history of Cuba and the revelation.

I thought for years the classic photos/prints you see were of Castro when in actual fact they are Che Guevara as he was the person that shaped Cuba!

Very good read!
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