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Publisher's Summary

The classic work of political, economic, and historical analysis, powerfully introduced by Angela Davis.

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.

©1972 Walter Rodney; copyright 2018 by Patricia Rodney; Postscript copyright 1971, 2018 by A. M. Babu; Foreword copyright 2018 by Angela Y. Davis; Introduction copyright 1981, 2018 by Vincent Harding, William Strickland, and Robert Hill (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

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A Superb must read for everyone

Loved this book. At times it was difficult to follow due to unfamiliarity with historical African states and tribes. but you will walk away with a thorough understanding of how Europe underdeveloped Africa both locally and abroad.

7 people found this helpful

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It's a must for any self respecting black people

It goes through the history and reasons for black people's modern issues and African poverty. It also gives solutions.

5 people found this helpful

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Must read

If you want to claim that you know anything about the world, you need to read this.

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Doesn't stand the test of time

I have no clue why this has above a 3.0 rating. This book and the underlying logic are nonsensical. There is certainly some interesting history of African cultures, but the heart of the book is a harsh critique of capitalism (which the author conflates with colonialism) and a case for socialism (which the author conflates with perfection).

The fact that the author lauds North Korea should be enough to demonstrate how ideologically committed he was. This is the ravings of a zealot more than a study of Europe's underdevelopment of Africa.

Unfortunately, the obvious knowledge and understanding of the continent and it's people is there, but the conclusions are so heavily weighted by the Marxist paradigm that everything becomes an oversimplification of good (socialism) v evil (capitalism).

My only thought is people are appreciating this as a period piece that captures a sentiment. But if you want that, read Franz Fannon. Fannon is far more honest and raw emotion rather than vapid fake facts and historical contortions. Perhaps that's the biggest issue with this book, if you want to believe it, then all of the rants become truth. If you have any understanding of facts about the era, it's all dumb.

If you fact check or have a grasp of African history, you spend half the book wondering if this book is satire!

2 people found this helpful

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A must read for all who believe in humanity

l find the book very inspiring and a call to action. l highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in the development of Africa.

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Holy Book

This is the African Holy Book. A must read for anyone who wants to break the chain of oppression. Rest In Peace Orisha Walter Rodney.

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Worth listening to thrice...

Walter Rodney put in the work. This book goes to great lengths to elucidate the amount of deception that has been heaped on the African people and the continent itself. The deeper one understands the history, the easier it is to see how the situation at hand came to be.

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Decolonize yourself

Well, I realized as I listened to this book that I am really ignorant about all things African. And the incredibly limited "knowledge" I did have was completely screwed by European capitalistic ideology. This book is a necessary read for self work in the time of the revolution.

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So educational!! Free Africa from this!

So many memorable moments. Absolutely have to listen to this one!! History that needs to be told!

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Upon further review

I first read the book in college and couldn’t understand why this occurred I passed the class but still didn’t have a firm understanding until now. The author is pro communism referring to Marks and that capitalism let Africa down. The spin on communism as a way for Africa to move to developing countries. Since the book was written in 1972, you can judge for your how Africa develop following this book. I will use it for reference only

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  • Watch John Pilger on johnpilger dot com
  • 01-11-20

Essential Reading (Listening) by ALL Human Beings

I cannot praise this book and the narrator, Mr Mirron Willis, enough. An audio book which will have to be re-listened several times throughout my life due to the high volume of invaluable information which helps us all to understand ourselves, our heritage and the world.

Please do give the audiobook or the printed book as a gift to your family and friends. Knowledge is indeed freedom and the very least we can do is to help people not to die in ignorance of their circumstances.

Mr Willis brought to life written words with so much honesty and soulful eloquence in his speech. The perfectly tuned emphasis which helped me understand the importance of the information.

Certainly a lifelong favourite book and favourite narrator.

Time for reparations. Time to settle the scores.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Maisha
  • 06-25-20

Phenomenal!

True, raw, insightful, anger-provoking, challenging, revolutionary, memorable and extremely relevant - almost 50 years after it was written. This book and its associated works cost Walter Rodney his life - after, like all Afrikan leaders, he was murdered to prevent Afrikans from rising and challenging our oppression and subjugation. This book should be on every curriculum at all levels of education, if we truly are committed to making Black Lives Matter!!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Joe
  • 06-12-19

Impactful

For those who want to build or even dream of a brighter future for Africa this is a must read, must study and must share.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-19

Great understanding

This book has given me a greater understanding of what and how the Europeans have put themselves in the position they are today and what we need to do to stop them taking advantage.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-19

Africa must rise

very informative in understanding underdevelopment in Africa and how we need to look to the past to present to help us I'm the future

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. IA
  • 03-20-19

A must read for all who value freedom!

This book succinctly explains the actions that have led to the current geopolitical climate. Much of the challenges faced then seem to be in affect now. A great read for those seeking insight into what true liberation will look like based on where Africa has come from.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ayman
  • 09-03-19

Inspired by Marx

Good book about Africa and its suffering but it has the spirit of Marx writing and it’s clearly written during the Cold War and the writer seeing the future being communists

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-28-21

unbelievable read, this book is essential

this book is essential for anyone interested in this field of study and I will be listening more than once

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  • Allan
  • 03-03-21

well researched and presented. The perps. are stil

Out there the perpetrators are still out there unrepentant of their heinous crime against humanity.

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  • Max
  • 02-15-21

A must read

One of the most important texts ever written. Deep enough to justify buying the book to go along with the audio as you’ll want to go back over bits, but it must surely be an essential read for anyone interested in colonialism in any context.

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  • Valeria
  • 04-24-20

What I was looking for

It links present with past. Appropriately organised information. It is perfect if you want to know more about African history, since it touches many periods and compares how each region was during each of them. It also states the origin of racism, of the African hunger, of the situation that even now some of these countries are still holding.