Comandante

The Life and Legacy of Hugo Chávez

Rory Carroll

Comandante by Rory Carroll (Paperback ISBN 9780857861535) book cover

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Updated since the death of Hugo Chávez in March 2013, Comandante is the definitive account of Chávez’s presidency, and the legacy he has left behind.

Updated since Chávez’s death in March 2013, Comandante is the definitive account of Chávez’s presidency, an authoritative chronicle of one of history’s greatest leaders and his legacy.

Hugo Chávez was a true phenomenon, a democratically elected leader whose revolutionary aspirations made him a symbol of hope and freedom for his people. Hero to some and despot to others, he remains as divisive in death as during his fourteen year rule. As his followers mourned their great leader, critics across the world asked: what is the crumbling reality behind the illusion Chávez cast of a thriving Venezuela?

Rory Carroll, based in Venezuela for years as the Guardian’s chief correspondent in Latin America, has written the unprecedented inside story of Chávez’s life and his political court in Caracas.


“In cool, lucid prose, Rory Carroll unpicks the threads that weave together to form a modern-day dictatorship, no less sinister for its relative absence of bloodshed. The portrait of Venezuela that emerges is as nuanced as it is ultimately chilling”
Michela Wrong
author Of In The Footsteps Of Mr Kurtz

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“Rory Carroll’s brilliant portrait of Chavez reads like a fast-paced novel of ego run amok, an ego that happens to be attached to a masterful politician, a dynamo of energy and charisma, and a colossus of managerial ineptitude. The Comandante is by turns heartbreaking, maddening, absurd, and surreal, a truly epic story of promise squandered and opportunities lost”
Ben Fountain
author Of Billy Lynn’s Long Half-time Walk

Comandante provides an impressively well-researched and readable portrait… Carroll’s book should serve as a useful reminder of what el Comandante did and didn’t achieve”
the New York Times

“A fine, timely book”
the Economist

“This beautifully written and acutely perceptive book amounts to a lyrical meditation on the nature of power … [Comandante] will deserve to be the definitive work on Chávez in the English language
David Blair
the Daily Telegraph


Rory Carroll

As a long-serving correspondent for the Guardian, Rory Carroll has covered war zones, survived a kidnapping in Iraq, and reported from all over Africa. For five years, throughout the writing of this book, Carroll was stationed in Caracas as the Guardian’s chief correspondent in Latin America. He now lives in LA, where he is the paper’s US west coast correspondent. His work has been longlisted for the Orwell Prize, the UK’s pre-eminent prize for political writing.