Guerrilla Warfare Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Guerrilla Warfare.
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Guerrilla Warfare Summary & Study Guide Description

Guerrilla Warfare Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Guerrilla Warfare by Che Guevara.

Guerilla Warfare is a manual written by Ernesto "Che" Guevara to instruct the reader in the proper method to wage a guerilla war against a non-communist regime. Che discusses all of the main aspects of guerilla warfare in this text and tries to take his experience in Cuba and then to generalize from that experience to gather general principles that he can impart to the would-be revolutionary.

The book is divided into three chapters each with several sub-sections. The first chapter focuses on the general principles of guerilla warfare including an abstract discussion of the social role of the guerilla fighter and the role he plays in the global communist revolution. In this chapter Che discusses the general strategies and tactics that the guerilla will employ as well as a discussion of the types of territory that will be more or less favorable to conduct guerilla war.

Chapter 2 focuses on the organization and structure of the guerilla band itself. An important idea in this chapter and throughout the entire book is the idea of the guerilla as a social reformer who takes the subjective conditions of revolution and then objectifies them through his action. The proper role of doctors, women, and training is discussed in this chapter. Also discussed are some technical details about how to make guerilla camps and how to convert shotguns in to Molotov Cocktail launchers.

Chapter 3 deals with the organization of the guerilla war along its primary front against the enemy. The basic guerilla strategy is to progressively mover further and further out from the guerilla's natural base, converting captured zones into new home bases. To this end, the guerilla must concentrate on indoctrinating the peasant population in the right way to gain support for the revolutionary cause. Other important topics discussed in this chapter include the proper techniques and goals of sabotage and the use and importance of propaganda. Towards the end of the chapter, the organization of the guerilla army itself is also discussed.

In the appendices, Che deals with the problem of organizing a guerilla band at the beginning of the revolution and the opposite problem of defending the revolutionary government once power has been achieved by the guerilla war. The first problem requires absolute secrecy and the organization of a small nucleus or cell of men that can then transition into a guerilla army. The second problem involves the consolidation of power and the defense of revolutionary institutions against counter-revolutionary forces. The key at the outset of the defense of the revolution is to eliminate and overhaul all of the old institutions of the previous regime, most importantly the old army. In the Epilogue, Che describes how the Cuban revolutionary forces did seize power and how they began to reform the institutions of Cuban society. The book ends with a kind of call to arms to other Latin American revolutionaries asking them to join the revolutionary struggle.

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