The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey (Paperback)
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A New York Times bestseller
With a new introduction by The Motorcyle Diaries filmmaker Walter Salles, and featuring 24 pages of photos taken by Che.
The Motorcycle Diaries is Che Guevara's diary of his journey to discover the continent of Latin America while still a medical student, setting out in 1952 on a vintage Norton motorcycle together with his friend Alberto Granado, a biochemist. It captures, arguably as much as any book ever written, the exuberance and joy of one person's youthful belief in the possibilities of humankind tending towards justice, peace and happiness.
After the release in 2004 of the exhilarating film of the same title, directed by Walter Salles, the book became a New York Times and international bestseller.
This edition includes a new introduction by Walter Salles and an array of new material that was assembled for the 2004 edition coinciding with the release of the film, including 24 pages of previously unpublished photos taken by Che, notes and comments by his wife, Aleida Guevara March, and an extensive introduction by the distinguished Cuban author, Cintio Vitier.
"A journey, a number of journeys. Ernesto Guevara in search of adventure, Ernesto Guevara in search of America, Ernesto Guevara in search of Che. On this journey, solitude found solidarity. 'I' turned into 'we.'"—Eduardo Galeano
"As his journey progresses, Guevara's voice seems to deepen, to darken, colored by what he witnesses in his travels. He is still poetic, but now he comments on what he sees, though still poetically, with a new awareness of the social and political ramifications of what's going on around him."—January Magazine
"Our film is about a young man, Che, falling in love with a continent and finding his place in it."
—Walter Salles, director of the film version of The Motorcycle Diaries
"All this wandering around 'Our America with a Capital A' has changed me more than I thought."
—Ernesto Che Guevara, from The Motorcycle Diaries
About the Author
In 1952, the year he turns 24, while still in medical school, Ernesto Che Guevara embarks on the journey he describes in The Motorcycle Diaries--which is also the first chapter in the short and very eventful life of this "icon of the century," as Time magazine refers to him. After returning to Argentina and graduating medical school in 1953, he almost immediately embarks on a second Latin America voyage, one which takes him through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala. In Bolivia, he is witness to the Bolivian Revolution. And in Guatemala, the experience of seeing the democratically elected government of Jacobo Árbenz overthrown by U.S.-backed forces profoundly radicalizes him. This second trip is described in Latin America Diaries.
After escaping to Mexico, Guevara meets a group of Cuban revolutionaries exiled in Mexico City led by Fidel Castro and enlists in their planned expedition to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. The Cubans nickname him "Che," a popular form of address in his native Argentina. The group sets sail for Cuba on November 25, 1956, aboard the yacht Granma, with Che as the group's doctor. Within several months, Fidel appoints him a commander of the Rebel Army, though he also continues to minister to wounded guerrilla fighters and captured Batista soldiers. After General Batista flees Cuba on January 1st, 1959, Che becomes one of the key leaders of the new revolutionary government. He is also the most important representative of the Cuban Revolution internationally, heading numerous delegations and earning a reputation as a passionate and articulate spokesperson for Third World peoples.