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School of the Americas (Paperback)
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In the Bolivian jungle, Che Guevara is captured and held in a one-room schoolhouse. For two days neither the Bolivian President nor the U.S. State Department is able to decide Che's fate. The young schoolteacher of the village insists that she be given permission to speak to the famous revolutionary. Her conversations with Che - based on historical fact - are the heart of the play. "Jose Rivera's SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS traces the last two days of the Argentine revolutionary's life. The story comes from historical fact: When a feckless attempt to start an insurrection in Bolivia led to his capture, Che really was held for two days in tiny La Higuera while authorities decided his fate and really did talk to a young villager named Julia Cortes. As imagined by Rivera, their conversations are sometimes predictable - America is 'the greatest enemy of mankind' - but also contain surprising introspection. Che calls himself 'a goddamn joke' and 'a small, failed, stupid man.' No doubt addressing the audience, he declares, 'Worship the struggle ... don't worship me.'" -Jeremy Carter, New York ..". Mr Rivera's intimate play is something of a bookend to his screenplay for The Motorcycle Diaries, a coming-of-age movie about a young pre-political Che. In SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS politics serve only as a backdrop to a story about Che's encounter with a young teacher named Julia Cortes. Julia teaches at the schoolhouse where Che is being held, and after pleading with the Lieutenant to be let inside, she has a final conversation with the prisoner. Like COPENHAGEN and STUFF HAPPENS, this drama uses historical fact as a frame to pose intriguing questions about what might have happened ..." -Jason Zinoman, The New York Times.