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Black Classic Press
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

by Walter Rodney
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781574780482
Publisher: Black Classic Press
Publication date: 10/01/2011
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Walter Rodney was an internationally renowned historian of colonialism and a leader of Black Power and Pan-African movements across the diaspora, most notably the Guyanese Working People's Alliance. His life and work brought together struggles for independence on the African continent with the strivings of the black working classes of North America and the Caribbean basin. On June the 13th, 1980, Rodney was assassinated, most likely by the then-president of Guyana. He was 38 years old.

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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (With Pgs72-104) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After a world lit only by fire this is a great segue into what happened to the medieval mind during the reconnaissance years and one continents horrific adventure...Once the euro forces wrestled control of the Mediterranean and the North African waterways from the Arabs and the African moors they used the technology to sail to other continents, in this case Africa in the late 1400's to early 1500's. Secondly control of trading routes were disrupted and eventually taken out of the Africans control. Third once other land was discovered in the western hemisphere free labor was needed to work it¿with control of trading routes, the outsiders were able to impose the type of merchandise to be traded...this massive trade helped the invaders move from a economically and socially backward geo-political system to a full fledged capitalist system , while causing an African brain drain (ages 14 to 30) of massive proportions and depopulation of the highest order. One of conscious mind could only look in horror as boatloads of emaciated children pulled up to ports. These were the poster children for the age of unreason and of course this was with the help of the bamboozled chiefs and the mulatto class. Although there were a few empires that launched kicka@#s offensives, the war was already lost. The Africans failed to see the world picture that the enemy saw. Once trading in slavery commenced on a massive scale , merchants got paid on a billion dollar scale...taking profits and moving those profits to other investments... such as technology, colonial corporations etc¿, and on to the next phase of raw oppression . Under colonialism the medieval men choked off every single surplus of the peasant farmers and raw materials the workers had and mined sending billons home. The combination of slavery and colonialism caused massive famines, disease outbreaks, wars, and indigenous systems were arrested . In other words the model that the medieval population now capitalists brought and originated from, took a mere 500 years to transport elsewhere. Lets be real clear regarding the type of development that was allegedly was economic. For when the medieval invaders reached their targeted geo area they had already found social development too advance for them to fathom...for unlike the military invading force, this areas people were very healthy and able to feed themselves, had an educational system in place, little to no crime, and political administrations. One could only hope the land that launch intellect and spirituality can muster up forces to alleviate its current situation based on its past. This is an excellent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book nearly ten years ago, but I remember the rich content in the acknowledgements discussing the political boundaries and the escalating tribal warfare between different ethnic groups. Walter Rodney does a good job in creating a continental villian in 'Europe' and a self-perpetuating victim in 'Africa'. The author writes about territories, unhonored treaties, the legal theft of diamonds and other natural resources only found in Africa. My favorite subtopic was the Berlin Conference and how Europeans divided African continent up into small pieces all in the name of imperialism. Edmond Davis Historian Pulaski Technical College N. Little Rock, Ark.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can clearly determine why he was executed. This book is excellent as an account of the travesties of Europeans against thecontinent of Africa. Tremendous insight into the reasons why there is turmoil in the world from africa to the US and to the middle east.
McCaine on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The Guyanan intellectual Walter Rodney wrote this book directly after the 1960s wave of African independence declarations, to show why Africa was so underdeveloped compared to the 'First World', and who was to blame for this. A consistently intelligent and politically involved Marxist thinker, Rodney was one of the second generation of black socialists to write about African issues, after the tradition of CLR James and Eric Williams, the former of whom tutored Rodney. "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" is probably Rodney's magnum opus of popular science, aimed at a general public, and very accessible and informative.Rodney describes in chronological sequence the development of Africa as a continent and the way in which the Europeans interfered with it. Going from the earliest African empires and states and their social relations, via the first wave of slave-trading, to full-blown colonialism, Rodney shows us how Europeans consistently attacked, pillaged, exploited, suppressed, enslaved, divided and discriminated against Africans, and the enormous impact the various stages of slavery and colonialism had in destroying the indigenous opportunities for coming out of feudalism into capitalist and industrialized societies. It is truly remarkable, given how short a time Africa has had to develop on its own as a modern society, how quickly African states have been able to modernize, and how strong the resilience of the various African peoples is to the enormous destruction they have had to endure. Rodney shows us all this with excellent writing and sensible use of 'bourgeois' sources, allowing the interested layman to gain all the necessary broad background information on the history of European involvement in Africa.Of necessity, the book is sometimes rather annoyingly concise and vague about the specifics of colonial policies, destruction of early indigenous development etc., things about which one would want to know more. Rodney provides a reading list for more information at the end of every chapter, but since this book is from the 1960s, it is dubious whether such lists are still useful considering the improvements made in radical scholarship on Africa since. The timing of the book also makes it such that there is practically nothing on African states since independence, as most independence declarations had happened only shortly before its publication. Moreover, Rodney is very saccharine about the influence of the 'socialist' states such as the USSR and China on Africa, which he exclusively paints in positive terms. Certainly the Leninists have had a vastly better influence on African development than any Western nation ever has, but the USSR and China had their own interests to defend in Africa as well, and were not there purely for humanitarian purposes, as Rodney sometimes makes it seem. Nonetheless, this is a good general book on the legacy of European destruction in Africa, and it thoroughly refutes all the common arguments in defense of colonialism in that continent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
First, Rodney was a revolutionary, and like many revolutionaries, he didn't know how to handle his own bombs.

Second, the 'underdevelopment' thesis gets weaker and weaker each passing year. It's been nearly 60 years since decolonialization began and 45 years since it's ended. How long is whitey going to be blamed for the fact that Zimbabwe is run by a kleptocrat, unmarried pregnant Nigerian women are sentenced to be stoned to death, three million Africans are in a war with each other, one tribe killed 500,000 of another tribe with sticks and machetes, female 'circumcision' is still widely practiced and 30% of Botswanans have AIDS?

Third, if national borders are arbitrary and a hangover from colonialism, how come the affected countries haven't changed them?

Fourth, what besides geography connects sub-Saharan Africa from Berber/northern Africa? Shouldn't the book be 'How Europe Underdeveloped Sub-Saharan Africa'?

Fifth, if whitey is so bad, why does Rodney ape the language of that whitey known as Marx? You know, looking over the mercifully brief history of the Marxist empire known as the USSR, it looks awfully colonial to me, from Kazakhstan to Georgia to Finland to the Baltic states to Afghanistan. Trying to be anticolonial and Marxist at the same time is like trying to hetero and a Catholic priest at the same time.

Finally, any economist that can write with a straight face that we should pattern our economies on East Germany and Albania wins the record for silly idiocy. Not even Krugman would go that far, and that's saying something.