The Fall of Che Guevara

cheMore Reviews:

“[Ryan’s] book combines sound traditional scholarship with readability and a sense of identification and drama.” Times Literary Supplement.

“Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act have allowed Ryan…to tell for the first time the role of the U.S. government in foiling Guevara’s final campaign to ignite a revolution in the backwoods of Bolivia.” Harvard Magazine

“Well-written and exhaustively researched.”  Foreign Affairs

“[The book] is a pleasant surprise: a short, unsensational and scholarly account of Guevara’s failed attempt to start a guerrilla insurrection in Bolivia and his death there on 9 October 1967.English Historical Review

“…has the merit of being both original and brief.”  LondonReview of Books

“Fascinating…A great read for those interested in the ideological and revolutionary challenges to U.S. policy in Latin America in the 1960s.  Foreign Service Journal

“As a behind the scenes look into the issues and personalities that shaped U.S. foreign policy for Latin America…[this book] is fascinating.” Miami Herald

“A welcome addition to the literature on both Che Guevara and U.S. intervention in Latin America.”  Washington Monthly

“Ryan brings fresh interest by telling [the story] primarily from the perspective of the soldiers and diplomats working to oppose Che while struggling to avoid the errors of the Vietnam War.Bolivian Times

“[Ryan] reflects a…well-documented approach…One of the major…theses is that the CIA and the United States government were not the principal intellectual authors of Che’s murder.”Journal of American History


“ ‘A day of warlike events,’ said Guevara of March 23, 1967, a day when small-weapons fire crackled through the jungle on the Bolivian slopes where the mountains drop abruptly to the plains of central South America.  While tracking down reports of strange, possibly subversive, activities, a 40-man Bolivian Army patrol fell into a five-man guerrilla ambush, and the struggle Guevara hoped would light the flames of rebellion across the continent had begun.”

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“Che Guevara’s body, strapped to the landing skid of a Bolivian helicopter, was on its way to the town of Vallegrande from the tiny backwater settlement of La Higuera, where he had been executed.  Beside the pilot rode CIA agent Felix Rodríguez, an intelligence advisor to the Bolivian Army, especially its Second Ranger Battalion.  He had helped shape that unit into an effective antiguerrilla force during its special training by American Green Berets and had continued to assist it during its two weeks in the field, culminating in Guevara’s capture.”