ISBN 9780007272907,The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries


Harper Collins



Harper Collins

Publication Year 2004

ISBN 9780007272907

ISBN-10 0007272901


Number of Pages 165 Pages
Language (English)


Road trip books are always interesting. They contain interesting encounters, adventures and misadventures of the protagonists on their travels. The Motorcycle Diaries has the added attraction of being the road trip of a charismatic revolutionary who altered the course of history in his region.

A medical student, Guevara liked to travel, and he had earlier undertaken a road trip on a modified bicycle fitted with an engine. In 1952, Guevara, along with his friend Alberto Granado, decided to travel across South America on a Norton 500cc motorcycle. They set off from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Part way across the trip, their faithful steed, the motorcycle they had named La Poderosa, meaning The Mighty One, broke down. The friends were forced to complete their journey using other means of transport, traveling 5000 miles across the Atacama Desert, the Andes and the Amazon River Basin.

During this time, Che Guevara came to realize the harsh lifestyle of the common people in Latin America. The living conditions of the miners, the leper colony and the plight of the once mighty Incans, descendants of the Inca Civilization, all combined to create a change in him. Born in a comparatively affluent upper middle class family, these encounters were eye-opening experiences for the twenty-three year old Guevara.

When they set off on the trip, they were two men taking a break from their studies, going in search of new experiences and adventures. In the end, the journey became a learning experience, turning this road trip story into a coming-of-age tale too.

The Motorcycle Diaries chronicles the metamorphosis of a carefree young man into a convinced Marxist resolved to fight for the poor, who dreamed of creating a Latin America without borders.

About Ernesto Che Guevara

Ernesto Che Guevara was an Argentine revolutionary, physician, diplomat, and author.

Diary of a Combatant: From the Sierra Maestra to Santa Clara (Cuba: 1956–58), The Great Debate on Political Economy, Marx & Engels: An Introduction, Che Guevara, Cuba, and the Road to Socialism, and Che: The Diaries of Ernesto Che Guevara are some of his other books.

Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was born in Rosario, Argentina in 1928. He played important roles in the revolutions in Guatemala and in Cuba. Che Guevara is now an iconic figure for all those who believe in a leftist, communist ideal. Guevara was married twice and had five children. He was executed in Bolivia in 1967, at the age of 39