A unique dual portrait shines new light on two of the most dramatic figures of the twentieth century.
Though Che Guevara has been dead for more than forty years, and Fidel Castro has drifted offstage, their names remain forever and dramatically linked, in history and in the imagination. Their coming to prominence together during the Cuban Revolution captivated a generation. For some, their romantic struggle for freedom still resonates; for others, they represent the last of a dying breed of rebel warriors. Yet for all that has been written about them, surprisingly little has been revealed about the twelve years of their unique and highly consequential relationship, during which they linked arms in one of the world's most remarkable revolutionary movements.
Drawing on sources in Cuba, Latin America, the United States, Europe, and Russia, and on material not available to previous biographers, Simon Reid-Henry has crafted a compelling portrait of a revolutionary era and the twomen whose names and deeds personify it. From their childhoods in Cuba and Argentina; to the safe houses of Mexico City's political underground, where they met in 1955; to the theater of war in the Cuban mountains and their utterly improbable overthrow of the Batista regime; to the paneled offices of their new government and the epic confrontations with the United States during the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis; to their dramatic and painful split and Che's subsequent death at the hands of the CIA; Reid-Henry blends an intimate knowledge of Castro's and G uevara's private lives and friendship into a gripping chronicle of their times. What began as an association of convenience would fundamentally shape their political visions, propelling them further than either had dared imagine. Ironically, though, their jointly conceived vision of revolution would ultimately force them to choose between friendship and their beliefs.
At a momentous turning point in Cuban history, Simon Reid-Henry offers a fascinating and original chronicle of two of the most powerful personalities in recent memory.