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In his new novel Before Che, author Peter Rutkoff probes the origins of the Cuban Revolution of 1953-59, exploring links to American volunteers fighting for the Popular Front opposing fascism in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. He develops a vivid character in Popular Front soldier Oliver Law, a communist and labor organizer who became the commander of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade — the first African American to lead an integrated military force. Law died in combat in 1937. Before Che connects those times and events with the early days of the M-26-7 movement — evoking the earliest days of Cuban revolutionary struggle before Che Guevara’s arrival in 1955. Fidel Castro’s failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in 1953 was the first armed action of that campaign, which ultimately triumphed in 1959 to become the first socialistic government in the Americas.

In Gambier, Before Che can be purchased at The Kenyon Bookstore and at Paragraphs Bookstore in Mount Vernon. For members of the wider community, please send $15 for each copy (includes shipping) along with desired ship-to address to: Jerry Kelly, 402 Chase Ave., Box 5,Gambier, OH 43022. Before Che is available at independent bookstores worldwide (and the chain stores) via the Ingram Content Group catalog.