Skip to Search

A Guide to the Abraham Guillén Collection

Finding aid prepared by John R. Nemmers

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
August 2004

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Guillén, Abraham
Title: Abraham Guillén Collection
Dates: 1943-1993
Abstract: Unpublished and published manuscripts, as well as a small amount of correspondence of revolutionary writer Abraham Guillén.
Extent: 1 Linear feet. 2 boxes.
Identification: MS Group 152
Language(s): Spanish
Online Content Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

Author, economist, educator. One of the most prolific revolutionary writers in Latin America during the 1960s and intellectual mentor of the Uruguay's revolutionary Movement of National Liberation (Tupamaros). He is most widely known as the author of Strategy of the Urban Guerrilla, which played an important role in the activities of urban guerrillas in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Guillén was born in Guadalajara on March 13, 1913. During the Spanish Civil War he fought against the Franco's forces, operating within the National Confederation of Work (CNT), the Federation of Spanish Anarchists (FAI), and the General Union of Workers (UGT). At the end of the war, he was arrested by Franco's forces, condemned to death, and ultimately was sentenced to ten years in prison. He escaped from prison in 1945, fled Spain, and spent three years in France.

In 1948, he immigrated to Argentina. During the Peron era, he worked as an editor for Economia y finanzas ("Economy and Finance"), and his contributions were published under the pseudonym, Jaime de las Heras. Under another pseudonym, that of Fernando Molina, he contributed to the Buenos Aires newspaper El Laborista. His 1957 publication, The Agony of Imperialism, resulted in the loss of his job and his barring from employment as a journalist in Argentina. In 1960, he was employed briefly as an economic consultant to the Argentine government.

In 1961, he was imprisoned for a few months on the charge that he was a member of the Uturuncos, guerrillas active in northwest Argentina during 1960 and 1961. Following his imprisonment he sought political asylum in Montevideo in 1962 and soon made contact with revolutionary elements in that country. The first edition of Strategy of the Urban Guerrilla was published in 1966. It served as a counter to the rural insurrectionist methods espoused by Che Guevara, although Guillén did agree with Guevara on several key issues and even authored the introduction to the Uruguayan edition of Guevara's Guerrilla Warfare.

Guillén continued to publish frequently during this time period. He took a position as a journalist for the Montevideo newspaper Accion, often using the pseudonym of Arapey. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a constant subject of investigations both by Latin America police and by the CIA. In addition to Argentina and Uruguay, he also lived and worked in Peru and eventually returned to Madrid, Spain, where he taught theories of self-management and communal action. He died on August 1, 1993.

Scope and Content

The collection includes both unpublished and published manuscripts, as well as a small amount of correspondence with Guillén's publishers. In the manuscripts, Guillén critiques capitalism, socialism and communism for their individual economic weaknesses. He differentiates between the private capitalism of the West and socialism or communism of the East, which he calls public or state capitalism. He also examines variations of economic collectivization in an attempt to achieve an equitable society.

Guillén writes at length about the Tupamaro urban guerrilla movement in Uruguay and also examines the revolutionary guerrilla movement in Brazil. Additionally, Guillén focuses heavily on dissecting capitalism, socialism, communism, collectivization and anarchical models as fallible politically, both in theory and implementation. Guillén reserves his harshest criticism for the communist system, comparing it to fascism for its cruelty; however, Guillén examines only the Soviet experience with that ideology and none other.

The manuscript titles are written in Spanish, but approximate English translations are provided in each folder title.

The 2007 Addition to the collection includes materials donated by educator and author, Donald C. Hodges. These papers include several letters written from Guillén to Hodges over 30 years from 1972 to the 1980s. There are several publications written by or about Guillén between 1943 and 1973, as well as typescripts of a biography about Guillén written by Hodges. The letters from Guillén to Hodges are written in Spanish, but English translations are incorporated in the typescripts for the book.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Abraham Guillén Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The Abraham Guillén Collection was donated by Donald C. Hodges.

Contents List

Manuscripts and Correspondence

1 "Como Se Crea y Funciona una Empresa de Propiedad Social" (How an Enterprise of Social Property is Created and Functions). n.d. (ca. 1975)
1 "El Desarrollo Desigual Entre las Dos Americas" (The Uneven Development Between the Two Americas), unpublished book. 1972-1973
1 "Dialectica de las Contradicciones en la Union Sovietica" (Dialectic of the Contradictions in the Soviet Union). n.d.
1 "La Guerrilla Urbana de los 'Tupamaros' en el Uruguay" (The Urban Guerrilla of the 'Tupamaros' in Uruguay). n.d. (ca. 1972)
1 "Modelos de Empresas de Propiedad Social" (Models of Enterprises of Social Property). 1975
1 "Propiedad Social y Economia Nacional" (Social Property and National Economy), Peru. 1970-1975
1 "El Pueblo en Armas: Estrategia Revolucionaria" (The People in Arms: Revolutionary Strategy) and "Guerrilla Urbana: Estrategia y Tactica" (Urban Guerrilla: Strategy and Tactics). n.d.
1 "La Republica Socialista: Autogestion o Burocracia?" (The Socialist Republic: Self-Management or Bureaucracy?), Lima. 1976
1 William Morrow and Co., Inc. (Publishers) Correspondence. 1972-1976
1 Monteneros documents.
1 Neo-Anarchism: "El Anarcho-Marxismo y el deterioro del Leninismo".
1 Estrategia de la revolucion Latinoamericano.

Addition (2007)

2 Correspondence from Guillén (in Montevideo) to Hodges. 1972
2 Correspondence from Guillén (in Montevideo, Buenos Aires, and Lima) to Hodges. 1973-1974
2 Correspondence from Guillén (in Lima, Madrid) to Hodges. 1975-1977
2 Correspondence from Guillén (in Madrid) to Hodges (includes letter from Antonio Colomer Viadel). 1989-1993
2 "La Dependencia Económica de America Latina" (The Economic Dependence of Latin America): Professor Guillén. 1973
2 "Donde Vamos Jorge Batlle?" (Where are we going George Batlle?) - article by Guillén. 1971
2 "Guerrilla Warfare in the United States" by Hodges (typescript). Not dated
2 "Imperialismo del Dolar e Inversiones Directas-Apéndice" (Imperialism of The Dollar and Direct Inversions-Appendix) by Guillén. Not dated
2 "Napoleón: Prisionero del Destino" (Napoleón: Prisoner of Destiny) by Guillén. 1972
2 "Primer Teórico Extraordinario" (First Extraordinary Theory). 1943
2 "Teoría de La Violencia: Guerra y Lucha de Clases" (Theory of Violence: War and Struggle of the Classes) - photocopies of selected pages from publication. 1965
2 "La Universidad y El Proceso de Liberación Nacional" (The Universal Process of National Liberation) by Guillén. 1973
2 "Abraham Guillén (1913-1993)" by Donald C. Hodges - typescript of biography. Not dated
2 Typescript chapters of biography about Guillén by Hodges. Not dated
2 Typescript chapters of biography about Guillén by Hodges. Not dated
2 Typescript chapters of biography about Guillén by Hodges. Not dated
2 Typescript chapters of biography about Guillén by Hodges (includes manuscript notes and writings in Spanish). Not dated
2 Typescript for Strategy of the Urban Guerilla with Introduction by Hodges. 2005

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

University of Florida Home Page