Getting to Know the General

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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.

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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.

If heaven is real and you died tomorrow, would you get in? Do you believe in fate? What is your favorite gemstone? Do you work out regularly?

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How do you think people see you? If you had the ability to erase something that you did in the past, what would it be? What song makes you unconditionally happy? What fictional character do you most relate to?

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If I asked you at age 5 what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would you say? What is your biggest irrational fear? If you could take us anywhere in the world right now, where would you take us? What is your biggest regret? If you died tomorrow, what would you wish you had done? Can you pinpoint the moment in your life where you were the happiest? What song makes you unconditionally sad? If past lives are real, what was yours? If you believed in reincarnations, what would you want to be in your next life?

What is your biggest accomplishment? What would you do if you only had 24 hours left to live?

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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.

If you could do one thing without suffering the consequences, what would you do? Have you ever cheated on a test? What is your craziest drunk story? Is there something out there, a thought, an idea, a current event, or a fear that you find deeply unsettling? Do you have any siblings? If so, how many and are they sisters or brothers?

How old are they? What would you consider to be your deepest fear? This question can be really telling of the depth or lack thereof of a person. Is there an activity that calms you? A place or a thing that makes you feel at ease? What is the worst pain you have ever been in? What makes you feel uneasy? Have you ever broken a bone? Have you ever had a major surgery? Do you enjoy nature or do you prefer to stay indoors? Have you ever been camping?

Have you ever been canoeing or white water rafting? What is your favorite song and why? Do you have a favorite book? A line in a piece of literature? A poem? Why do you relate to it? What scene in a movie has evoked the most feelings out of you? Do you have a role model? If so, who is it? What do you do or where do you go when you need to be alone? What makes you feel like you need to be alone? If you could live forever, would you? What political stance do you believe in strongly? Do you consider yourself a democrat, a republican, or other? Can you remember a time in your life you felt the most alive?

Tell me everything about that memory. Have you ever been caught in a lie? When have you felt the lowest in your life? Do you trust yourself? Do you trust others easily?

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Where have you felt the most failure? The most success? When have you felt like you were living life to the fullest? What is the first lie you ever told?

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Which is the biggest? What is the first secret you ever kept from anybody? Are you a religious or spiritual person? Tell me why and tell me how. Have you always had the same political beliefs? Is there something that impacted them? Where do you find meaning in your life? Have you ever been in love? Tell me about the times you have been. Tell me about the times someone broke your heart. Why did you cry the last time you did so? Have you ever cried tears of joy? What did you do when you hurt someone the most? If your life was a movie or a book what would be the title to it?

When have you caused the most harm to yourself? What has been the biggest change you ever made that made you the most proud of yourself? Think about the people you love the most in your life, what do you do for them? Is home for you a place or a feeling? Describe that place or describe that feeling. If you could be anywhere other than where you are right now, where would you be and what would you be looking at? Have you ever questioned your sanity and why?

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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.

What is your most cherished childhood memory? Have you ever had dreams about a past life? Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares? Do you believe more in fate or that we are the creators of our own destinies because we are governed by free will? Do you believe in extraterrestrial life? Elaborate on why or why not. What would be your thought process if you were presented with irrefutable evidence that a god did exist?

What do you think was there before the universe came into creation? Do you believe in other dimensions and parallel universes? How do you define art? If you could have the option of eradicating pain from your life would you choose to do so? Why or why not? Is a life exclusive to pleasure no suffering worthwhile? What do you think happens after death, if anything? If you could be given the date of your death would you want to know it? Presented with the opportunity to be immortal would you take it?

Would you rather be loved or love? How do you define beauty? Where does happiness come from? Define what happiness means to you. Do you believe yourself to be truly free?

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If so, why? If not, what is holding you back?

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