A Journey to Political and Social Activism in Ernesto Che Guevara's 'Motorcycle Diaries'

1831 Words Feb 25th, 2013 8 Pages
Emily Gjos November 12th, 2012

A journey to Political and Social Activism In Ernesto Che Guevara’s The Motorcycle Diaries

Global Development Studies Holler

Book Review

Emily Gjos November 12th, 2012

Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara is an autobiographical account that outlines the journey of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, then a 23-year-old medical student. Che and his friend Alberto leave their hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in January 1952 on the back of an asthmatic and sputtering motorbike. Guevara inadvertently goes on this journey of self discovery where he witnesses the social injustices of exploited mine workers, persecuted communists, ostracized lepers, and the tattered descendants of a
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The Cold War and its proxy wars were major issues in global political economics at the time because they were dominating the economies of the world’s superpowers. This was a time of vast globalization as global economies and free markets emerged. With the creation of the IMF in 19447, there was great pressure to follow Western ideals of development. As the United States provided around 18% of the total quota of the IMF,8 the influence of the American hegemony of economics, politics and social restrictions was great. America controlled large percentages of the global markets and created economic oppression for communist states and other opponents of US hegemony. Che Guevara believed that “the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, GATT 2 and on the American continent, the Inter-American Development Bank are examples of international organizations placed at the service of the great capitalist colonialist powers essentially at the service of United States imperialism”9. This time was considered to be the golden age of development as globalization swept the world. People, governments and companies of different nations were driven by trade and investments and aided by information and technology. The Internet was created, popularizing watching global events. News was much more accessible. The United Nations was established, along with other NGOs and private sector development agencies. The creation

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