REGIS DEBRAY AND THE LATIN AMERICAN REVOLUTION by Leo & Paul M. Sweezy--Eds. Huberman

REGIS DEBRAY AND THE LATIN AMERICAN REVOLUTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Regis Debray is the young French philosopher now in a Bolivian prison. His Revolution in the Revolution? (1967) advocated small, mobile, aggressive guerrilla bands, or focos, to create mass revolutionary support rather than presupposing it. It is a pleasure to have these criticisms gathered into a book. They mostly agree with Clea Silva that Debray overextends the Cuban example, misinterprets it, exaggerates the uniqueness of Latin America; and with two Cuban revolutionaries' objections to Debray's rigid models and ""recipes""; and with Andre Gaunter Frank that Debray lacks fundamental analysis of Latin American societies and their class structures, as well as with the editors' claim that Debray simply assumes the continent is ripe for revolution right now. Everyone commends Debray's attacks on reformist Communist Parties; almost everyone complains that he underestimates the political role of military activity and mass participation. James Poetries suggests that he overreacted to CS betrayal of guerrillas by rejecting all parties and politics--still sharing, however, the CS's unwillingness to involve the masses. Juan Busch speculates on Castro's attitudes. Williams and McKelvey see implications for U.S. activists: concern with the hinterlands and more anti-intellectualism, respectively. Eqbal Ahmad, in one of the best articles, finds convincing parallels between Debray's mistaken view of guerrilla warfare and that of Washington. The multifaceted debates will continue; this collection makes a fine, readily assimilated contribution to an understanding of the issues.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1968
Publisher: Monthly Review Press