by Susan Kline, Grove Project Archivist
The non-fiction books published by Grove Press often discussed, exposed, and debated social and political movements and revolutions across the globe, including in Latin America. Grove gave voice to revolutionary writers, including French philosophy professor Regis Debray.
Debray was arrested in Bolivia and convicted of rebellion, murder, and armed robbery in connection with guerilla leader Che Guevara in 1967. Although sentenced to thirty years in prison, Debray gained release three years later and returned to France. Critics described Debray’s book, Revolution in the Revolution? (Grove Press, 1967) as a “primer for Latin revolt” and a “guerilla blueprint.” Grove also published Debray’s letter “A Message to My Friends” in the February 1968 issue of the Evergreen Review, the issue featuring Paul Davis’ iconic portrait of Che Guevara on the cover. According to Grove editor Fred Jordon, Debray’s letter was smuggled out of Bolivia by a French journalist.
When Grove’s edition of Revolution in the Revolution? appeared, Debray was still awaiting sentencing. Grove mentioned this fact on the book’s back cover by pointing out in large, reddish-orange type that Debray could face death by firing squad. The blurb on the back cover also compared Revolution in the Revolution? to another work published by Grove, Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth.
Debray’s Revolution in the Revolution? is on display as part of the exhibition, Strange Victories: Grove Press 1951-1985.
Photo posted with permission of Grove/Atlantic.