Synopses & Reviews
The Fall of Che Guevara
tells the story of Guevara's last campaign, in the backwoods of Bolivia, where he hoped to ignite a revolution that would spread throughout South America. For the first time, this book shows in detail the strategy of the U.S. and Bolivian governments to foil his efforts. Based on numerous interviews and on secret documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from the CIA, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the National Security Archive, this work casts new light on the roles of a Green Beret detachment sent to train the Bolivians and of the CIA and other U.S. agencies in bringing Guevara down.
Ryan's shows that Guevara was an agent of Cuban foreign policy from the time he met Fidel Castro in 1955 until his death--not a mere independent revolutionary, as many scholars have claimed. Guevara's attempted insurgency in Bolivia was in reality a Cuban attempt to achieve another badly-needed revolutionary success.
This dramatic account of the last days of Che Guevara will appeal to scholars and students of United States foreign policy and Latin American history, and to all those interested in this revolutionary's remarkable life.
"This work is well researched, utilizing Cuban, U.S., and Bolivian sources, and is a cracking 'good read.'"--The Journal of Military History
"Ryan offers a thoughtful critique of both the operational and intelligence-gathering aspects of the U.S. intervention against the Cuban intervention in Bolivia....[He] enlivens his narrative with vivid portraits of the two American officials who played key parts in the hunt for Guevara....[This book] is a welcome addition to the literature on both Che Guevara and U.S. intervention in Latin America."--The Washington Monthly
"The Fall of Che Guevara has the merit of being both original and brief. It consists largely of a trawl through the American archives, in the wake of the Freedom of Information Act, to discover what the various U.S. government agencies really knew, and thought, and did about Guevara."--London Review of Books
"Ryan's is a balanced and carefully-documented book and a great read about one of the most fascinating characters of our times. Ryan pretty well destroys the idea that Guevara left Cuba in virtual disgrace because of disagreements with Castro. Guevara remained, and remains today, one of the most honored figures in Cuba's hall of heroes. Soviet pressure may have played some role in Guevara's decision to leave, but clearly his missions to the Congo and then to Bolivia were of tremendous importance in Cuba's foreign policy projections. Guevara would probably have embarked upon them even had there been no disagreements with the Soviets. It is appropriate that this excellent book is published just as Guevara's remains at last have been returned from Bolivia to Cuba."--Wayne S. Smith, Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies at the Johns Hopkins University; formerly a member of the Foreign Service and the State Department's leading expert on Cuba
"The enigmatic personality--and persona--of 'Che' will fascinate writers on many different levels for decades to come. But this detailed and comprehensive book is important because, for the first time, the American part in the notorious 1967 capture of Guevara is believably told. You'll be surprised."--Georgie Anne Geyer, syndicated columnist and author of Guerrilla Prince: The Untold Story of Fidel Castro
This book tells the story--for the first time--of the United States government's response to Guevara's ill-starred insurgency in Bolivia in 1967. Henry Butterfield Ryan argues that Guevara's life must be re-evaluated in light of secret documents only recently released by the CIA, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the National Security Council. Ryan's dramatic account of the last days of Che Guevara is sure to appeal to scholars and students of United States foreign policy, Latin American history, military history, and to all others interested in this modern revolutionary's remarkable life.
"Ryan offers a thoughtful critique of both the operational and intelligence-gathering aspects of the US intervention against the Cuban intervention in Bolivia....[He] enlivens his narrative with vivid portraits of the two American officials who played key parts in the hunt for Guevara....[This] is a welcome addition to the literature on both Che Guevara and US intervention in Latin America."--The Washington Monthly
About the Author
Henry Butterfield Ryan
is a retired United States Foreign Service officer and a professional historian. He is the author of The Vision of Anglo-America
(1987) as well as numerous articles and studies concerning diplomatic history and government affairs.