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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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The three texts this book, all written in vastly different eras —The Communist Manifesto (1848) by Marx and Engels, Reform or Revolution (1899) by Rosa Luxemburg and Socialism and Man in Cuba (1965) by Ernesto Che Guevara—illuminate socialist ideas of the 19th and 20th centuries.

For a new generation of activists, these are classic revolutionary writings by four famous rebels, including The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; Reform or Revolution by Rosa Luxemburg; and Che Guevara’s Socialism and Man in Cuba. Includes an introduction by Cuban Marxist intellectual Armando Hart and a preface by US radical poet Adrienne Rich.
 
The essays in this book, Manifesto, were written by three relatively young people—Karl Marx when he was 30, Rosa Luxemburg at 27, Che Guevara at the age of 37. Born into different historical moments and different generations, they shared an energy of hope, an engagement with history, a belief that critical thinking must inform action, and a passion for the world and its human possibilities. Here are urgent conversations from the past that are still being carried on, among new voices, throughout the world.

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ERNESTO CHE GUEVARA is profoundly radicalized when, as a young doctor traversing Latin America for the second time, a journey he later describes in Latin America Diaries/Otra Vez, he witnesses first the Bolivian Revolution, and then, in Guatemala, the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Jacobo Árbenz by U.S.-backed forces. After escaping to Mexico, Guevara meets up with a group of Cuban revolutionaries exiled in Mexico City led by Fidel Castro and immediately enlists in their planned expedition to overthrow Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. The Cubans nickname him "Che," a popular form of address in his native Argentina. The group sets sail for Cuba on November 25, 1956, aboard the yacht Granma, with Che as the group's doctor. Within several months, Fidel appoints him a commander of the Rebel Army, though he also continues to minister to wounded guerrilla fighters and captured Batista soldiers.

After General Batista flees Cuba on January 1st, 1959, Che becomes one of the key leaders of the new revolutionary government. He is also the most important representative of the Cuban Revolution internationally, heading numerous delegations and earning a reputation as a passionate and articulate spokesperson for Third World peoples. In April 1965, Che leaves Cuba to lead a guerrilla mission of some 200 Cuban soldiers to support the revolutionary struggle in Congo, a mission he recounts in Congo Diary. The book is characterized by Che's brutal, disciplined honesty, as he recounts the succession of failures and dead ends that characterized the mission, analyzing each one, and never losing sight of his innate optimism and clarity of mission. After returning to Cuba in December 1965, Che prepares another guerrilla force, this time to Bolivia, where he arrives in November 1966 with a small guerrilla force, intending to challenge the country's military dictatorship. He is captured there by U.S.-trained counterinsurgency forces on October 8, 1967, and murdered in cold blood the next day. His Bolivian diaries were later edited and published as The Bolivian Diary/El Diario de Che en Bolivia. Che's other works include Reminisces of the Cuban Revolutionary War/Pasajes de la Guerra Revolucionaria, I embrace you with all my revolutionary fervor/Te abraza con todo fervor revolucionario, and The Motorcycle Diaries/Diarios de Motocicleta. More of his political writings are collected in the Che Guevara Reader/Che Guevara Presente.

Rosa Luxemburg was a leader of the German Social Democratic Federation and jailed for her opposition to World War I. She was assassinated in 1919.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848 and were founders of the International Workingmen’s Association.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848 and were founders of the International Workingmen’s Association.

Other books by Ernesto Che Guevara