He made other friends, the foremost being his guide, bodyguard, and companion, a former Marxist professor of mathematics who went by the name of Chuchu; and it looks for a while as if this will be more a book about Chuchu's sexual exploits, about rum punches and bad meals, than about General Torrijos. A subtheme is Greene's European habit of drinking all the time, versus the Panamanian habit of drinking on Sunday; Greene seems to convert just about everyone to the European mode. But what emerges, subtly, is a portrait of Torrijos as much drawn from the mirror of his Panama as from Greene's encounters and travels with him.
Torrijos dreamed of an independent, social democratic Central America; his Panama was home to political refugees from Chile and Argentina, and to guerrillas from E1 Salvador and Nicaragua Chuchu is constantly engaged in small-scale gun running and semi-clandestine meetings.
Greene became friendly with many of these people and they take on a very human form here. He also met, in Panama, Eden Pastora, the former and now anti-Sandinista commander, whom Greene calls a tragic figure and considers a sell-out to his celebrity status. Greene revels in the constantly shifting travel plans, in Torrijos' way with a crowd, in the antiseptic lawns and golf courses of the Canal Zone.
He went back to Panama each year, thereafter; in , along with fellow-novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, he was a member of the Panamanian delegation to the signing of the treaty. There, Greene depicts Chilean dictator Pinochet as dominating the room like Boris Karloff--and making it all the more difficult for Americans to distinguish one Latin general from another.
His appreciation of Torrijos, who chose the difficult path of patience over the easier one of romantic violence, is heartfelt and touching without being either soppy or mythmaking. Greene's skill at presenting people he likes, foibles and all, is put to good use here. An engaging combination of memoir, travel writing, and social and political analysis from a man who doesn't worry about being used. Review Posted Online: Sept.
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Start by marking “Getting to Know the General: The Story of an Involvement” as Want to Read: Greene's account of a five year personal involvement with Omar Torrijos, ruler of Panama from and Sergeant Chuchu, one of the few men in the National Guard whom the General trusted. Getting to know the General: The story of an involvement First UK Edition Edition. Sold by BOOK-WORMS and Fulfilled by Amazon. Greene's account of a five year personal involvement with Omar Torrijos, ruler of Panama from and Sergeant Chuchu, one of the few men in the.
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Tell me a song or movie that makes you cry. Interacting with Your Friend. Are you religious or spiritual? By susanverner. I admire Omar Torrijos after meeting him in different books. In this event, there may be a slight delay in shipping and possible variation in description.
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