This essay is assembled around four loosely interrelated questions concerning Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972). First, Why read this book now? Second, How should we read this book today? Third, What is the politics and poetics of the formal conceptual and argumentative apparatus that shapes How Europe Underdeveloped Africa? And finally, fourth, If How Europe Underdeveloped Africa was not meant to engage an academic protocol but a Marxist politics of revolutionary social transformation, what is the idiom in which we might translate the radical impetus of the critique embodied in it into a contemporary political project?

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