The Motorcycle Diaries is a memoir that traces the early travels of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, then a 23-year-old medical student, and his friend Alberto Granado, a 29-year-old biochemist. Leaving Buenos Aires, Argentina, in January 1952 on the back of a sputtering single cylinder 1939 Norton 500cc dubbed La Poderosa ("The Mighty One"), they desired to explore the South America they only knew from books. During the formative odyssey Guevara is transformed by witnessing the social injustices of exploited mine workers, persecuted communists, ostracized lepers, and the tattered descendants of a once-great Incan civilization. By journey's end they travel for a symbolic nine months by motorcycle, steamship, raft, horse, bus, and hitchhiking, covering more than 8,000 kilometers (5,000 mi) across places such as the Andes, Atacama Desert, and the Amazon River Basin. The book ends with a declaration by Guevara, born into an upper middle class family, displaying his willingness to fight and die for the cause of the poor, and his dream of seeing a united Latin America.
The book was originally marketed by Verso as "Das Kapital meets Easy Rider", and has been a New York Times bestseller several times.
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