The Motorcycle Diaries

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9780007285396: The Motorcycle Diaries

Che Guevara’s riotous diaries charting his motorcycle odyssey from Argentina through Chile and Peru ending finally in Venezuela.

In January 1952, two young men from Buenos Aires set out to explore South America on 'La Poderosa', the Powerful One: a 500cc Norton. One of them was the twenty-three-year-old Che Guevara.

Written eight years before the Cuban Revolution, these are Che's diaries – full of disasters and discoveries, high drama, low comedy and laddish improvisations. During his travels through Argentina, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, Che's main concerns are where the next drink is coming from, where the next bed is to be found and who might be around to share it. Che becomes a stowaway, a fireman and a football coach; he sometimes falls in love and frequently falls off the motorbike.

Within a decade the whole world would know his name. His trip might have been an adventure of a lifetime – had his lifetime not turned into a much greater adventure..

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‘It’s true; Marxists just wanna have fun.’ Guardian

‘Politically-correct revolutionary hero? Perhaps a few years later, but in this account Che Guevara comes over as one of the lads.’ Bike News

'What distinguishes these diaries is that they reveal a human side to El Che which historians have successfully managed to suppress…one senses El Che's belief that determination and conviction can be enough to change one's self and others… a joy to read from start to finish.' Financial Times

'Political incorrectness galore…this book should do much to humanise the image of a man who found his apotheosis as a late Sixties cultural icon. It is also, incidentally, a remarkably good travel book about South America.' Scotsman

About the Author:

Ernesto Che Guevara was born in Argentina in 1928. After fighting alongside Fidel Castro in the three-year guerilla war in Cuba, he became Minister for Industry following the victory of the Cuban revolution. In 1966 he established a guerilla base in Bolivia. He was captured and killed in 1967.

Ann Wright, the translator, has a doctorate in Cuban history and lived and worked in Argentina for six years.

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