This hugely influential work of political theory and political history, now powerfully introduced by Angela Davis, “remains as relevant as when it was first published—a call to arms in the class struggle for racial equity” (Los Angeles Review of Books).
A powerful analysis of European colonialism in Africa that stands alongside pan-Africanist classics like C.L.R. James’ Black Jacobins, Eric Williams’ Capitalism & Slavery, and W.E.B. Dubois’ Black Reconstruction.
In his short life, the Guyanese intellectual Walter Rodney emerged as one of the leading thinkers and activists of the anticolonial revolution, leading movements in North America, South America, the African continent, and the Caribbean. In each locale, Rodney found himself a lightning rod for working class Black Power. His deportation catalyzed 20th century Jamaica's most significant rebellion, the 1968 Rodney riots, and his scholarship trained a generation how to think politics at an international scale. In 1980, shortly after founding of the Working People's Alliance in Guyana, the 38-year-old Rodney would be assassinated.
In his magnum opus, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Rodney incisively argues that grasping "the great divergence" between the west and the rest can only be explained as the exploitation of the latter by the former. This meticulously researched analysis of the abiding repercussions of European colonialism on the continent of Africa has not only informed decades of scholarship and activism, it remains an indispensable study for grasping global inequality today.