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The heart that bleeds Latin America Now - Essay Example

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America and the Americas are often two concepts that those of us living in the United States have trouble grasping. We think of America as limited to only the United States. Yet travel the whole of the Americas and its citizens will tell you that they, too, are Americans with their own histories, their own pursuits of liberty and justice.
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The heart that bleeds Latin America Now
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Download file to see previous pages policy like no others in the Western Hemisphere. Interspersed are profiles of the Argentineans Evita Peron and Che Guevara and Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa.
Nearly half of the book is devoted to a series of scarcely believable tales from Mexico, where Guillermoprieto was born and returned to live in the mid-1990's. All of these essays appeared in The New Yorker and in The New York Review of Books between 1994 and 2000.
In this book, Guillermoprieto is at her best in her psychological portraits of Latin America's unconventional politicos. Among them are Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian writer who lost a presidential bid; Guevara, the icon by which the Latin American left defined itself, and Vicente Fox, the Mexican rancher who dethroned a corrupt political machine to take the presidency.
Guillermoprieto makes it clear why Vargas Llosa, an author of inspiring prose, failed miserably in his presidential bid. Her essay about Vargas Llosa also opens up a window into a cruel theme what Guillermoprieto calls a fundamental trait of Peruvians, but is very much a continuing problem of Latin America and those in the diaspora to the United States. These nations and their peoples are constantly immersed in conflict over their mixed blood and class. It's the deep-seated explanation for the conflicts and frustrations of Peruvian life.
In her artfully handled essay on Che, it's easy to understand why Guillermoprieto, with her sympathies for the poor, was drawn to Che as a subject matter. Here she dissects three weighty tomes, published in 1997, on Che. And in doing so she quickly takes the reader into her generation's own psyche. She said Guevara was born in Latin America's hour of the hero. And so many of our leaders have been so corrupt, and the range of allowed and possibly public activity has been so narrow, and injustice has cried out so piercingly to the heavens, that only a hero can answer the call, and only a heroic mode of life could seem worthy. Guevara stood out against the inflamed horizon of his time, alone and unique.
She sees Che's flaws, though. With horizon inflamed, a generation of followers were "incinerated" by their Che ideology. In a very personal passage, she details how those "children of Che" armed in radical revolution would die, including a great friend of Guillermoprieto's mother, a poet and feminist editor named Alaide Foppa. And by synthesizing details from a book by Jon Anderson, she shows how Che, this man of the people, was a machista of an elitist background who would have his sexual way with the family maids. She writes that Guevara's slogans now sound foolish. And she highlights that with work from a book by Jorge Castaneda, a political scientist who is now Mexico's foreign minister.
Castaneda's Che is a man who cannot bear the natural ambivalence of the world, a world of gray where people have mixed allegiances. As the eventual head of the Central Bank, for example, Che was flummoxed by day-today realities of running a government. "Why corrupt workers by offering them more money to work harder" Given the region's history of rickety economies, the reader wonders if a Latin American could be found today ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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