Synopses & Reviews
In 1960, Cuban photographer Alberto Korda captured fabled revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara in what has become history's most reproduced photo. Now Michael Casey tells the remarkable story of this image, detailing its evolution from a casual snapshot to an omnipresent graphic—plastered on everything from T-shirts to vodka to condoms—and into a copyrighted brand. As Casey follows it across the Americas and through cyberspace, he finds governments exploiting it and their dissenters attacking it, merchants selling it and tourists buying it. We see how this image is, ultimately, a mercurial icon that still ignites passion—and a reflection of how we view ourselves.
"In Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image
, Michael Casey reports that local peasant women who paraded by Che's corpse on October 9 with the permission of triumphant Bolivian officers 'surreptitiously clipped locks of hair from Che's head, saving themselves a future talisman.' A few weeks later, the journalist and novelist Jose Yglesias, reporting on Che's death for The Nation, indulged his readers with a different sort of memorabilia. Yglesias wrote that like the relics of St. Teresa of Avila, a sixteenth-century Carmelite nun and mystic, Che's hands 'may well be with us for a long time to strengthen the nonreligious but barefoot Order -- like Saint Teresa's stoical Carmelites -- of the guerrillas of South America.'" Maurice Isserman, The Nation
(read the entire Nation review
About the Author
Michael Casey is the Buenos Aires bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and a frequent correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. A native of Perth, Western Australia, he has worked in numerous other countries as a journalist, including Thailand, Indonesia and the U.S. He is a graduate of the University of Western Australia and has an MA from Cornell University. He is married with two children.