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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Summer 2008

HIS 363k • Che Guevara's Latin America

Unique Days Time Location Instructor

Brown, Jon

Course Description

This course will cover Latin America during the era of the Cuban Revolution through the travels, observations, and revolutionary activities of Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The course builds on the sudden revival of Che's image in pop culture throughout the world, the movie Motorcycle Diaries, and the three additional movies on his life that are now in production. We intend to convert this popularity into a serious investigation of the social unrest into which Latin American countries had entered in the post-World War II period. It was a time in which dominant economic policy of import-substitution-industrialization reached the end of its possibilities, inflation upset the alliance between labor and the middle class, the landholding elites strengthened their control of land while the growing population of landless peasants slid silently into poverty, US companies dominated the most important industries, and dictators reigned.

Che Guevara grew up in Córdoba. He took the first of two trips through Latin America in 1951 while studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. After graduating as an M.D., he began a second trip in 1953, visiting two revolutions in progress before reaching Mexico in 1955, where he met the Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro. Students will survey class relations in those countries mentioned in Che's memoirs - Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. Then they will examine the Cuban Revolution in which Che rose from combat doctor to comandante, to economics minister, to international statesman, and to revolutionary provocateur. We conclude with a discussion of Ches attempt to export the revolution to Bolivia, where he met his death by execution in 1967.

Grading Policy

Maps 5% Midterm 20% Written reports 35% Final exam 40%


Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries Guevara, Back on the Road Guevara, Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War


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