(Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene


Getting to Know the General

Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review

I ve been eading uite a few books by Graham Greene over the past few years Getting to Know the General The Story of an Involvement was one of his later books and the 3rd book of non fiction of his that I ve Amandas Guide to Love (Bistro La Bohème read It is about General Omar Torrijos Herrera the leader of Panama in the 70s who was killed in a plane crash in 1981 Greene was invited to Panama to meet him in 1976 and the two became friends over the next years As well it is also a book about Torrijos friend and confidante Chucho who is the go between and constant companion of Greene on his visits to Panama Greene has a wonderful way of telling stories whether fiction or non fiction You can feel the genuine affection he feels for the country and Torrijos and Chucho He travels considerably during his brief visits to Panama often accompanying Torrijos to other countries orepresenting him to Nicaragua Cuba even the US I m constantly amazed at the access that he gains in this book and the places he has visited over the course of his life Most interesting book I wrote a letter to Graham Greene in my head I ll be waiting forever to send it For anyone interested in the politics of Central America in the 1970s and 1980s which of course also Wordcraft: The Art of Turning Little Words into Big Business reuires an interest in the US intervention in the isthmus that intensified during the later stages of the Cold War this book provides fascinating insights into some of the key personalities involved Of course apart from Greene himself whose knowledge of theegion grows with his friendship with the general we mainly find ourselves getting to know Omar Torrijos and his political amanuensis and bodyguard Chuchu Simply as a travelogue the book works because of the personalities the uirky and enigmatic Torrijos the ever willing and slightly crazy Chuchu and the pliable curious Graham Greene happy to be pushed into various political oles and literally to enjoy the ide as he gets dispatched to various parts of Panama or the wider Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century region often in the presidential planeIn those couple of decades Torrijos was an influential figure not only in Panama principally in steering the agreement on the future of the canal and itseturn to Panamanian control but also in his involvement in Queenie and Tom a Feline Romance regional politics He often operated behind the scenes giving support to theebel armies challenging ight wing governments in various countries providing efuge to people who needed a place of safety away from the different struggles not only guerilla leaders but also ordinary campesinos and publicly or clandestinely seeking solutions to the conflicts Greene is fascinated by Torrijos s self adopted egional ole and becomes a willing co conspiratorWhile the focus of the book is on the two main Panamanian characters we get vignettes of many others Gabriel Garcia Maruez Fidel Castro Eden Pastora Tomas Borge and many We get snapshot views of the canal zone the ain swept Bocas de Toro the San Blas islands where the Kuna people live and many parts of the est of Central AmericaGreene undertakes all this with seeming Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes reluctance he is constantly fretting about the need to get back to Antibes to sort out some domestic problem but in practice he is ineluctably drawn in by the combined charms of Torrijos and Chuchu And we of course aseaders are similarly seducedGreene s last journey to Panama is in the aftermath of Omar Torrijos s death when his plane mysteriously crashes in a emote part of the country At first Greene believes that the crash must have been a esult of pilot error even though earlier in the book he eveals that Torrijos spoke of the possibility of his being assassinated Then Greene is shown some intelligence eports showing the distorted view of Torrijos held by the US administration and he becomes suspicous that the death of his friend was not accidental Definitive proof that it was a CIA led plot has not yet surfaced as far as I m aware but it seems likely Certainly the insider John Perkins in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man Believed That Hit Man believed that was the case Graham Greene was to die before these further evelations emerged Trust Graham Greene to make a biography as well as a nuanced and objective
account of the 
of the tumult of South and Central America in the 1970s and "1980s Not Only So Compulsively Instantly Readable And Entertaining But "not only so compulsively instantly eadable and entertaining but most crucially warm wise witty even hilariously absurd and ultimately poignant and profound in turns Getting To Know The General is uncharacteristically for a man who could never uite bring himself to trust a single leader or ideology above all these things too it is a stirring gentle even uixotic tale of friendship and camaraderie between Greene and General Omar Torrijos the military leader of Panama s National Guard who had among other notable things assumed de facto eign of Panama and was also the leader who had eventually negotiated the Torrijos Carter treaty in 1977 thus ensuring at least in piecemeal fashion the eventual handover of the Canal back to Panama a treaty that caused something of a furore in America s political circuits who were aghast at surrendering their vital strategic asset And yet the book is less concerned with the Treaty the behind the scenes chicanery that esulted in it being signed despite the generally uneasy elations between USA and Panama or even the apprehensive aftermath ather Greene is interested in chronicling his freewheeling adventures with the General with whom he shares a melancholic sense of introspection as well as a blustery sense of mischief and goodwill Sergeant Chuchu the General s trusted ight hand man whose belligerent idealism is as infectious as the complexities of his marriage and sexual life are befuddling and a host of other intriguing eal life characters the determined heroic Sandinistas on exile from Nicaragua the General s allies in the neighbouring islands and also a few comically sinister men prowling on the periphery wondering what is Greene eally up to here Indeed what was he up to in Panama a place which unlike his other beloved foraging grounds like Indo China Cuba Paraguay has little of that sinful dangerous allure that so excited him about them in the first place The answer to that is the General and Chuchu s company the ollicking picaresue spells of flying from here to there in planes in bad weather drinking Not Handsome Enough rum cocktails and Pisco Sours well into the night fancying beautiful women and also trying to make some sense of the strange political conundrums in theegion And so the book is fun to ead than it should be Greene dispensing largely with standard issue political commentary and instead diving into the centre of all the action Greene's account of a five year personal involvement with Omar Torrijos uler of Panama from 1968 81 and Sergeant. Hus gripping us Busy Park readers into the tale and travesty effortlessly as ever and eventually helping us understand the General and all these people very believably General Torrijos emerges in this slim charming book as an enigmatic and admirable personality In a bright contrast to most other South American dictators andulers sponsored for most part by the United States and almost tyrannical in their methods he was amiable affable and even mild mannered in turns he is portrayed here as nursing the dream of bringing freedom to Panama and also establishing it as an independent Beer Law: What Brewers Need to Know republic capable of negotiating with any of the superpowers without bowing to their whims and fancies He is considerate of the woes of the villagers he is prudent enough not to commit totally to Communism and at the same time he also heeds the advice of his fellow leaders most notably Fidel Castro on how to act on crucial decisions On top of that he is just the uixotic hero that a man like Greene both dignified andaffish would look up to and admire Not everything in this book is fun and frivolity though Greene s usual penchant for journalistic observation pads these mellow boisterous memories with a depth of political prescience he is aware at all times of the General s political dilemma of being torn between leading an armed confrontation with USA which is what his own people expect from him and following the cautious taciturn course of negotiating a fair treaty for GIS and Fr�uleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany returning the Canal to his people The writer true to his finely sharpened flair for thrillers also portrays the interplay between Torrijos and his neighbouring states and how the Generalepresented a paradigm shift in the status of Latin America on the stage of global democracy and sovereignty And as the book arrives at its expected but still heartbreaking denouement the accidental death of Torrijos which was suspected widely and even plausibly as an insidious plot by the Reagan administration though Greene impressively does not choose easy answers Getting To Know The General also becomes something else a wistful lament about the near failure of a dream the dream that the General cherished about his and other South American countries being able to throw away the mantle of America s pervasive political intervention and build and evolve themselves into sovereign countries capable of a functional government Even as we might not be aware of the actual ealities in the present day we can all agree on how that dream has either faltered or been nipped in the bud time and again Brilliantly evocatively written with that trademark lucid prose irreverent asides and wry character sketches and with both a warm poignancy and an astute understanding of political conundrums Greene s book predictably and happily so is worth eading again and again I was a young kid when I Big Bad Detective Agency read this book okay 25 and what I thought was Greene was such aebel He gets an invitation to visit General Omar Torrijos of Panama in 1976 and gets to know him This gets him kicked out of the US and treads on dangerous grounds for his travels But Greene was just that sort of characterand that is what makes this such a good The Placer read Fear can be easily experienced but fun is hard to come by in old age Getting To Know The General is a little known out of print nonfiction book by one of my favorite writers Graham Greene The story begins in 1976 when Greene inexplicablyeceives an invitation to visit Panama as the guest of then uler Omar Torrijos Herrar He "immediately accepts knowing only of Panama from the exploits of the pirate Henry and "accepts knowing only of Panama from the exploits of the pirate Henry Morgan and mysterious death of
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Drake in area In the process he becomes an intimate friend of the uler and his fascinating friendbody guard Chuchu a former professor soldier pilot and lothario with scores of ex lovers and children He will visit the country five times between 1976 and 1983 The beginning of the book is The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, rife with tension as the General negotiates a treaty for the hand over of the Panama Canal with then President Jimmy Carter From there the politics of South America and Central America have aoutine background Profiles in Leadership: Historians on the Elusive Quality of Greatness role in the story as it was a time of dictators andevolts in Latin America many of them with unwanted intervention by the US through the CIA and other means Even though politics play an important background ole in Greene s travels discussions and meetings with the General it is also a travelogue Greene has been an intrepid traveler all of his life thus every time he visits he is trying to see as much of the country as possible and as I ead I would ead up about each place and egion he visited in my Panama Lonely Planet because I will be limited to the area near Panama City since I don t have the time Greene had nor the use of the General s military planes The novel also hints at personal problems Green had in France at the time as well as his struggles to write a novel about his experiences in Panama which I believe would have made a fine novel so instead we get this unclassifiable and intriguing short book instead Even after the General dies Greene makes one final visit to Panama at the behest of Chuchu and the new administration The later part of the book becomes focused on the politics of the egion and bears some esemblance to Salaman Rushdie s book about Nicaragua at a similar time The Jaguar s Smile Inexplicably that book is still in print while sadly this one is not I think Greene is a major writer than Rushdie and the cast of eal life characters who populate the book are larger than life as well Henry Kissinger Jimmy Carter every Latin America leader of state from the time period including Fidel Castro and the soon to be infamous Manuel Noriega Arthur Koestler and Gabriel Garcia Maruez Thus I think it would be of greater interest to the general public than Rushdie s Needless to say I was happy to have been able to find a copy since it added a lot of enjoyment to my first journey to Panama I think Graham Greene was 80 when this book was published Early on maybe in the introduction he says that the book is about getting to know Omar Torrijos s security guard the improbably named Chuchu than it was about getting to know the general himself Though Chuchu and Torrijos are invariably charming it s the narrator in the gloaming of his life who steals the show I am certain that was unintentional But only throu I found this story Getting to Know the General by Graham Greene uite interesting and so because I was living and working in Panama when the events were happening So I have a little story of my encounter with General Omar Torrijos Herrera one bright su. Chuchu one of the few men in the National Guard whom the General trusted completely It is a fascinating tribute to.
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Nny tropical day while going to pick up a visitor who was coming to inspect an automated inventory system I was installing in our operation of the Army and Air Force Exchange Panama but it eally sets the whole tone of what happen during Mr Henley s visit So here goesthe day I had my close encounter with General Omar Torrijos HerreraFirst a little bit of history about the GeneralGeneral Omar Torrijos Herrera 1929 1981 was born in the province of Santiago He took part in the coup that deposed Presidente Arnulfo Arias in 1968 He became commander of the National Guard and soon emerges as the strongman of the new egime He exercised full control Schätze Aus Dem Musée Picasso, Paris ruling by decree an imprisoning or exiling all his opponents until his untimely death in an airplane crash in 1981 Here is my little story Iteally happened which at the time seemed unbelievable that it was happening to me Now picture if you will a sunny morning in Panama with the time almost 10 O clock and you are Letters to Rollins running late in picking up an inspector from the States So you are trying to make time byacing You are in a small blue VW heading in the direction of the Metro Theater on a narrow street one over from Balboa Avenue You are about to pass the intersecting street up from the Cafe del Boulevard When suddenly out of nowhere a monstrous green Mercedes with its engine Britain, Europe And The Third World racing cuts in front of you Youeact uickly by slamming on your brakes and leaning on your horn As your tires scream like a banshee on the plains of Zimbabwe you notice that a man in uniform occupies the back seat of the Mercedes He is smoking a large Cuban cigar Your eyes meet his briefly and his large Mercedes accelerates He must be late for his appointment too The chase car has his bodyguards who at this point are just trying hard to keep up with the general s car The whole incident takes a few seconds but your whole life as you know it flashes before your eyes The bodyguards are brandishing submachine guns As they speed by you uickly pullover to the curb and then stop the VWAs you sit there thanking your lucky stars that you stop for some chance tickets at La Loteria building and a Raspado Crazy Italian Ice for the Scotland Yard roadyou say softly Thank you God After a few moments you continue to the International Hotel located on the Plaza de Cinco de Mayo The story would end therebut no there is As you allemember close parking to the International is at a premium at almost any hour of the day As you get closer you spot a large green Mercedes in front of the entrance The bodyguards are deployed You go around the Plaza and notice that there is only one parking spot available but one of the general s bodyguards is standing in it You have already gone around twice so you beep your horn He looks your way swings his machine pistol in your direction but steps out of the way as you ease into the parking space You are wearing a white Pana Brisa and you are sweating bullets no pun intended You get out of the VW which you have nicknamed Herbie 2 from the movie of The Love BugSome people when they are very nervous they talk to themselves Well I am carrying on a full conversation First with Herbie 2 as I leave him in the parking space and later with myself as I ush to meet my party staying at the International Hotel I had tried to put him up at the Tivoli Guest House but his stateside travel agency had made his eservations I enter from the bright sunshine to a somewhat cooler interior of the lobby and proceed to the courtesy phone I Unverified: A Novel ring the visiting fireman soom from the main office He picks up on the first Grand Teton Explorers Guide ring and tells me that he will beight down I walk over to the bank of elevators and notice that one is already descending The doors open suddenly ight in front of me Guess who No it is not the Headuarters Manager that I am to pick up not the Headuarters Manager that I am to pick up bus to Fort Clayton No it is General Omar Torrijos Herrera in the flesh As he heads toward me his bodyguards swarm around me like killer bees Again my whole life flashes before me I do what anybody else would do in such a situation and say Buenos Dias mi General He grunts a greeting as he passes me and heads for the doors And at that very moment the elevator doors open and the person I m to pick up steps out into the lobby He sees the general departing and says Louie that is the general did you see him I answered Yes I know Well he continues with Now I ll have something to tell the people back at the home office And I think someday I ll have to tell my little storyWell his inspection tour of our operations goes well He #Stays About A Week #about a week after some sightseeing and shopping I take him to the airport And he is gone until his next visit I never have another close encounter with the general A year later I transfer to San Francisco California Sometime later in a stateside newspaper I ead of the general s untimely death in an airplane crash Over the years when I think about that close encounter I say to myself that everything in life is a matter of timing My being a little late at that intersection saved me from my final curtain call I thank God that he was watching out for me that day It could have been different and I may not be here at this keyboard Peig: The Autobiography of Peig Sayers of the Great Blasket Island relating to you an incident that when I was going through it appeared like something out of the Twilight Zone and in very very slow motion Again time marches onGraham Greene s book goes into some background information and events that did not come to life until the General passed in a tragic airplane accident Some of the accident is still cloak in mystery The inspectors after much analysiseach the conclusion that it was not engine failure so it must have been the terrible weather the plane was flying in to get over a Löwen wecken ridge of mountains or pilot error I stronglyecommend that all who are interested to ead the book and draw your own conclusions Although the book could do with of the incredible literary abilities of the author seen in his novels the insight into what would normally be events happening "behind closed doors is second to none How fascinating that Greene was given such access "closed doors is second to none How fascinating that Greene was given such access important political events and decisions It is also explains why the Panamanians are so much in love with Torrijos why he was such a popular leader and has left such a huge mark on the country Highly ecommended if you are visiting Panama or living here if only to see the contrast with the country as it is now particularly tourist spots like Bocas Del Too which then were the absolute opposite And also interesting for those with an interest in that era as you learn a lot about the effects on various Latin American peoples of their espective dictator. An inspirational politician in the vital period of his country's history and to an unusual and enduring friendshi. .


10 thoughts on “(Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene

  1. says: (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review Characters Getting to Know the General

    (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Getting To Know The General is a little known out of print nonfiction book by one of my favorite writers Graham Greene The story begins in 1976 when Greene inexplicably receives an invitation to visit Panama as the guest of then ruler General Omar Torrijos Herrar He immediately accepts knowing only of Panama from the expl

  2. says: Characters Getting to Know the General (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene

    (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review Characters Getting to Know the General Trust Graham Greene to make a biography as well as a nuanced and objective account of the political tumult of South and Central America in the 1970s and 1980s not only so compulsively instantly readable and entertaining but also most crucially warm wise witty even hilariously absurd and ultimately poignant and profound in turns Getting To K

  3. says: Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene

    (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene I've been reading uite a few books by Graham Greene over the past few years Getting to Know the General The Story of an Involvement was one of his later books and the 3rd book of non fiction of his that I've read It is about General Omar Torrijos Herrera the leader of Panama in the '70s who was killed in a plane crash in 1981 Gree

  4. says: (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene

    Characters Getting to Know the General (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene I think Graham Greene was 80 when this book was published Early on maybe in the introduction he says that the book is abo

  5. says: Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene Characters Getting to Know the General

    (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review I was a young kid when I read this book okay 25 and what I thought was Greene was such a rebel He gets an invitation to visit General Omar Torrijos of Panama in 1976 and gets to know him This gets him kicked out of the US and treads on dangerous grounds for his travels But Greene was just that sort of characterand that is what makes this such a good read

  6. says: (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Characters Getting to Know the General

    Characters Getting to Know the General (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene I wrote a letter to Graham Greene in my head I'll be waiting forever to send it

  7. says: (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene

    Characters Getting to Know the General (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene I found this story “Getting to Know the General” by Graham Greene uite interesting and so because I was living and working in Panama when the events were happening So I have a little story of my encounter with General Omar Torrijos Herrer

  8. says: (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene

    (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review Fear can be easily experienced but fun is hard to come by in old age

  9. says: Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review

    (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Characters Getting to Know the General For anyone interested in the politics of Central America in the 1970s and 1980s which of course also reuires an interest in the US intervention in the isthmus that intensified during the later stages of the Cold War this

  10. says: Graham Greene ✓ 2 Review Summary ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Graham Greene (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene

    (Getting to Know the General) [PDF/EPUB] ´ Graham Greene Although the book could do with of the incredible literary abilities of the author seen in his novels the insight

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