Biography of Simon Bolivar, idol of South America, nineteenth century hero, whose colorful life makes good reading. Rourke marks the theatricality of the man, his preoccupation with glory for its own sake, his determination to establish a permanent government based on principles he conceived and was convinced were the only ones suited to the lands he liberated from Spain's stranglehold, shows how to plan was to act for Bolivar, and indicates those qualities of dominance and leadership which raised him to eminence. From a youth of European playboy-dom, Bolivar turned to Venezuela with a single purpose -- and for fifteen years waged war to bring freedom to his country. Traveling over battlefields of 3,000,000 square miles, getting an untrained army across the Andes, loyally supported by Paez, Sucre, and Santander -- he wrested victory from impossible odds and refusing almost all honors that were offered, finally died a solitary death as an outcast. A great revolutionary and a man with many qualities of greatness, his life is given full color, without sham glamorously by the author.