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For the first time, Aleida March evokes the memories of her partner, Ernesto Che Guevara. She describes their great romance and life together from the days when they first met as fellow guerrillas in Cuba''s revolutionary war up to the tragic moment when she learned of Che''s assassination in Bolivia less than a decade later.

As Che''s widow, Aleida writes with passion and poignancy of their shared political dreams for the future and their family. Never before have readers been offered such an intimate insight into the man behind one of the great political symbols of our time.

  • Includes one hundred intimate photos taken from the private family albums of Che with his children and his wife, including the last photos of Che and Aleida together when Che had disguised himself in preparation for his secret mission to Bolivia.
  • Also includes facsimiles of postcards and letters Che sent to his family from abroad, as well as poems written to Aleida and a moving short story sent from Africa.

This book reveals Aleida''s own great strength and courage as she came to terms with her private loss while under the international spotlight of millions of others who also mourned the death of a world-famous revolutionary, perhaps comparable to Yoko Ono after the death of John Lennon. She also describes her efforts to raise her four children as ordinary children despite their father''s legendary status in Cuba and abroad.

Aleida March is currently the director of the Che Guevara Studies Center, Cuba.

From Booklist

March was Guevara’s second wife and the mother of four of his five children. After four decades of chosen silence, she reveals in her memoir many interesting and sometimes surprising aspects of her life and her life with Guevara. She was raised in a rural section of Las Villas province, and she aspired to become a teacher. Like many youthful and idealistic Cubans, she despised the Batista dictatorship, so joining the July 26th underground resistance seemed a moral imperative. Her account of her activities, primarily gathering and conveying information, is harrowing and inspiring. Her meeting with Guevara and the flowering of their relationship are recounted with emotion, but she avoids excessive sentimentality. March understandably ignores some of Guevara’s unpleasant traits, including his ideological rigidity and his intolerance for the failures of others. Still, the inclusion of previously unpublished letters to her show a seldom-seen side, as he seems capable of deep personal attachment as well as longings for the domestic life he has sacrificed. This is the informative and poignant story of a rather modest woman thrust into the center of some important historical events. --Jay Freeman

About the Author

Aleida March is the director of the Che Guevara Studies Center, Cuba. From a humble family background, she joined the Cuban revolutionary underground movement as a young teacher in Santa Clara, central Cuba. She met Che during the revolutionary war and they married in June 1959. She now lives with their four children and numerous grandchildren in Havana.

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
84 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

S. Crawford
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Difficult to Read, but Valuable
Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2020
As someone who went through a phase of reading about Cuban historical figures, I thought I had read everything about Che, until I saw this through his widow, Aleida March''s perspective. Aleida is a fascinating character and I was intrigued by her when I''ve read about her... See more
As someone who went through a phase of reading about Cuban historical figures, I thought I had read everything about Che, until I saw this through his widow, Aleida March''s perspective. Aleida is a fascinating character and I was intrigued by her when I''ve read about her in other accounts. After all, she met Che while she herself was also part of the Cuban revolution - and taking a very active role.

She must have been an incredibly independent and brave woman to get to a point where she was meeting the famous Commandante in the middle of the jungle, but by the time she is writing this book, her spark seems to have dissapeared. Her tone in this book is more of a perfect Cuban housewife remembering the man who did everything while she was dutifully by his side.

I think this is a valuable book and there is much truth to be gleaned from this book, but I would love to know more about the strong side of Aleida and this really doesn''t show it. The entire book feels like it could have been great, but was likely heavily censored, or perhaps worded in a way to only glorify the revolution.

I don''t have an issue with the revolution - I read this neutrally and genuinely do not have any politcal opinions one way or another, but it does feel more like propaganda than a real account, and my goal in reading is reality, both good and bad.

So DO read this. But I feel like the author''s hands may have been tied. Jon Lee Anderson''s Che book is a good one to read beforehand. (Or audio book if you prefer since it''s a pretty hefty book)
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Jessica L. Low
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Exactly what has been missing from Che scholarship...
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2012
I have read almost everything about Ernesto Che Guevara that has been written or translated into English and this memoir contains everything that the other biographies, memoirs, and etc. lack, i.e. reflections of his personal relationships with his family, and especially... See more
I have read almost everything about Ernesto Che Guevara that has been written or translated into English and this memoir contains everything that the other biographies, memoirs, and etc. lack, i.e. reflections of his personal relationships with his family, and especially with his wife and children. Even the memoir written by his first wife lacked the warm details and personal anecdotes contained within this beautiful, honest, and heroic, though conflicted, soul. There is a lot that can be learned about a person through the study of their relationships with others, and this work definitely answers many questions, and completes the vision that I have of this remarkable man. I suggest this book as a companion to Lee''s and Taibo''s biographies and should be considered essential reading for anyone who either loves Che or hates him. What Che''s image seems to lack is the human factor that brings him back down to earth, that keeps him separate from the myth created around his image, and Aleida''s words show us, whether we like him or not, that we can both admire him and constructively criticize him, his decisions, and his actions in the context of historical truth,something that the myth that surrounds him has stolen from those who loved, and those who continue to love, this amazingly selfless man. Aleida''s main goal seems to be to show us how to keep those we admire within our understanding of our flawed human race. Whether you like him or not, you have to respect his iron will and his selfless dedication to the cause. He was, and always has been, a flawed human being; this is something easy to forget about Che, but essential in understanding his true, and amazing nature. Whether you like him or not, you can find something within this mad to look up to. Thank you, Aleida, for giving us what we have been waiting for since 1956, a remarkable picture of a remarkable man. I truly enjoyed this book.
25 people found this helpful
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MJ B
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Garbage!
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2019
Outside of the pics, this was the worst memoir ever! There were no juicy details and really no new detail about Che outside of the personal letters that she shared that mind you, she refused to share with Jon Lee Anderson for his biography of Che and said “they are too... See more
Outside of the pics, this was the worst memoir ever! There were no juicy details and really no new detail about Che outside of the personal letters that she shared that mind you, she refused to share with Jon Lee Anderson for his biography of Che and said “they are too intimate...people can read them when I die”....guess Jon wasn’t paying enough for her to divulge because last I checked she is still alive. I also don’t like how she talked bad about Hilda...but I guess when you’re a racist and have to be persuaded into thinking highly of people who are not white skinned by your revolutionary husband, then you would make such statements like she did (according to Anderson). She also gave her book a name similar to Hildas which to me still shows her nasty jealous side that people talk about. But in a nutshell...buy it used if you must and don’t expect a lot of details because there aren’t any. Her and her children complain so much about how they don’t like Che being used as a symbol to make money but then reading this all I can say is she did the same exact thing, use Che and the idea of Che to make money
One person found this helpful
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Splammo
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very One-Sided
Reviewed in the United States on May 17, 2021
If you want ONE PERSPECTIVE ONLY, a first-person account, this is a good one. . . but it''s also very VERY one-sided and does not give any other perspective other than an outsiders. Make sure you read other sources with it or you will NOT have a good perspective of the... See more
If you want ONE PERSPECTIVE ONLY, a first-person account, this is a good one. . . but it''s also very VERY one-sided and does not give any other perspective other than an outsiders. Make sure you read other sources with it or you will NOT have a good perspective of the events. . .
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Vicky
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is an excellent book. The narrative of Aleida about Ernesto Che ...
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2017
This is an excellent book. The narrative of Aleida about Ernesto Che Guevara is very sentimental. It is sad many people do not understand his ideals in life. His passion for his ideals made him sacrifice himself in his search to reach equality societies in Latin America.
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Malik
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent, a MUST READ if you are interested in Che
Reviewed in the United States on November 11, 2015
I have read many books on Che and enjoyed all my readings. But this book is the best of them all. It shows the reader the husband, the father, the friend and the intellectual that Che was. If you are interested in the Che that was a human being this is the book that MUST... See more
I have read many books on Che and enjoyed all my readings. But this book is the best of them all. It shows the reader the husband, the father, the friend and the intellectual that Che was. If you are interested in the Che that was a human being this is the book that MUST be read.
4 people found this helpful
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Rich Haney
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A 5-Star Must-read, Riveting and Historical
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2012
I unexpectedly read this book in one sitting the afternoon I got it from Amazon. It reads like a glittering romantic novel depicting a daring 21-year-old heroine meeting her dynamic 30-year-old lover in 1958 when they were both revolutionary guerrilla fighters against the... See more
I unexpectedly read this book in one sitting the afternoon I got it from Amazon. It reads like a glittering romantic novel depicting a daring 21-year-old heroine meeting her dynamic 30-year-old lover in 1958 when they were both revolutionary guerrilla fighters against the Cuban dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. When Aleida''s riveting narrative needs further explanation, very helpful footnotes at the bottom of the page define the historical significances. Once they met, they fought together and loved together, even in jeeps and, once, in a captured Batista tank. The 100 photographs are priceless, such as the one Che took of the rifle-toting Aleida standing in front of the huge troop-train that the rebels had famously derailed as a key prelude to the decisive Battle of Santa Clara. The rebel lovers got married right after the triumph of the revolution in 1959 and had four beautiful children together. The proven historical accuracy and unique insight of this book reveal aspects of the Cuban Revolution that too often never see the light of day in the Western world. Aleida March, born in Cuba in 1937 and still a determined and proud Cuban on the island, graciously shares invaluable insight on one of history''s most famous men, Che Guevara, and one of history''s most important events, the Cuban Revolution.
13 people found this helpful
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S. Kirkevold
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The real life of Che discribed by his wife
Reviewed in the United States on May 5, 2020
I enjoyed the book
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Top reviews from other countries

Kay
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Insight into the female experience of the Cuban revolution
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2015
A fascinating insight into the memories and life of Aleida March, who as a young woman fought with the rebels against the Cuban government and later married Che Guevara. Although many will read this for the Che link it stands up in its own right as a female narrative of a...See more
A fascinating insight into the memories and life of Aleida March, who as a young woman fought with the rebels against the Cuban government and later married Che Guevara. Although many will read this for the Che link it stands up in its own right as a female narrative of a high ranking woman post-revolution. I found the photo of Aleida and her children a few months after her husband had been murdered to be incredibly sad; grief had clearly taken its toll on the 33 year old Aleida.
One person found this helpful
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K. J.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 30, 2019
I used it for reading.😊 it''s a lovely book I really enjoyed reading it
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S. Nic Gabhainn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating read, well worth it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2016
This is a great read, full of interest for people trying to understand the Cuban Revolution, and the roles of Aleisha and Che. I found the sections on the early days and their advance around the country readable and enticing. She seems naive about Che the husband and father...See more
This is a great read, full of interest for people trying to understand the Cuban Revolution, and the roles of Aleisha and Che. I found the sections on the early days and their advance around the country readable and enticing. She seems naive about Che the husband and father and his failings in that area, but the book easily makes up for this in the details provided on other aspects of their lives.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2018
Excellent.
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Patricia Clowes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
is an extremely moving story of their intense love for each other
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 31, 2014
I bought this on my return from a holiday in Cuba having been greatly intruigued by the story of charismatic Che. This book, written by his wife, is an extremely moving story of their intense love for each other, their children & for their fellow Countrymen.It features many...See more
I bought this on my return from a holiday in Cuba having been greatly intruigued by the story of charismatic Che. This book, written by his wife, is an extremely moving story of their intense love for each other, their children & for their fellow Countrymen.It features many previously unpublished photographs of their private lives as well as public occasions .
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