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Patience A. Schell
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Extra info for Che's Travels: The Making of a Revolutionary in 1950s Latin America
Migration was a way of life for Guevara and his family. Both of his parents came from privileged backgrounds and boasted distinguished family names, but they were the downwardly mobile black sheep of the fold. Financial pressures contributed to an unsettled upbringing for the family’s children, albeit one still characterized by middle-class comforts and connections to wealthy relatives. As the household provider, Ernesto Guevara Lynch went from one failed business venture to the next, and the family moved frequently within Argentina.
Pro-regime pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines—all of which allowed audiences to ∂≠ Eduardo Elena travel virtually to what for many was an unfamiliar side of their country—used similar strategies. ‘‘This is how working people lived in the incredibly rich Argentine Republic,’’ proclaimed one newsreel of 1948 that showed images of poverty-stricken rural and urban communities. ’’ Footage showed dark-skinned men in tattered clothing gathering cane during the sugar harvest. The newsreel then cut to images of their children playing amid garbage in the open sewers running alongside shacks.
One can assume that he would have viewed with great skepticism suggestions that poverty was a thing of the past in Perón’s Argentina. After all, he had seen social inequalities ﬁrsthand during his youth in small-town Córdoba, in his work in hospitals, and on early voyages around his country. Yet one can identify a sensibility in Guevara’s travel writings similar to the nationalist cultural expressions of the era. The Motorcycle Diaries echoes the language employed by Argentine nationalists in describing rural inhabitants.