By Paulo Drinot
Patience A. Schell
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Additional info for Che's Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin America
On the other hand, Guevara remained an ambivalent anti-Peronist compared to his family and friends. Granado took part in student protests against the revolution of 1943, from which Perón began his rapid rise to prominence. Decades later, in his own travel memoirs, Granado would continue to describe the politics of this period as ‘‘our own local Nazism . . ’’≤∂ Guevara felt scant enthusiasm for the formal political opposition. He had long disdained Argentina’s traditional centrist party, the Radicals, and he viewed most leftist groups as ine√ectual and mistaken in allying themselves with conservatives in defying Perón.
This essay considers these historical subjects primarily through Guevara’s earliest travel writings. During the journeys of his youth in Argentina, Guevara formulated his travel method—as reﬂected in his choice of itinerary, modes of transportation, and contact with the physical landscape and its inhabitants. Method is perhaps too rigorous a term to describe these wanderings, but it serves the useful purpose of grouping together his habits and preferences as a traveler, all of which reveal much about postwar Argentina and Guevara’s place within it.
This type of historical analysis runs the danger of being reductive, that is, of explaining individual thought and action as the automatic outcome of structural pressures, political forces, and abstract social categories. To be sure, a measure of ‘‘sociologizing’’ may be welcome in this case, if only to counteract the inevitable mythologizing of El Che. But as we shall see, one of the distinguishing features of Guevara’s early travels was, in fact, their anticonformist character. His ambitious trek across South America, on a minimal budget and just shy of earning his medical degree, clearly bucked convention.