Undergraduate

Topics: Africa, Slavery, Colonialism Pages: 12 (3546 words) Published: May 8, 2014
Book Review
How Europe Under-developed Africa

1. Introduction
This paper is a review of the book entitled, “How Europe underdeveloped Africa” by Walter Rodney. In the context of this review, an attempt to successfully tackle the significance of this book will challenge the essence of its context by: Providing a summary of the preface and the table of content relative to the actual content along with the promise of the title, predicting the values of each segment provided in the aforementioned point, a chapter-by-chapter summary with the main ideology and attempt by the author and testing and reflecting on the context provided by the text and comparing it with other literature and my own predictions , a conclusive analysis of the book by presenting a pre-analytical summary of the main argument, reflections and criticism and Finally contesting the significance of the book relating to the course “Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa”. 2. Title, Table of content and Preface overview

When reviewing a book, several attractions are important to assess the main argument a book might tackle or the assertive nature that propels the reader to purchase it. In this case it is the book title, table of contents and the preface. The title of a book gives the reader the room to predict where the author is taking him metaphorically. In our case, “How Europe underdeveloped Africa” tells the reader what they are about to witness and that is the mechanism that Europe used to under develop Africa. In other words we can acknowledge two facts that are: Europe intentionally under developed Africa and secondly that in the book the mechanism to such action is explained. The table of contents in a book will help you to find the names of the chapters of the book and the page number where each chapter begins. Each topic discussed in the book will have a title and usually has a relative number. However, that is not what we want to look for, at least not from this perspective. What we find in the table of contents are the topic covered that should eventually lead to the author’s promise or main argument. Rodney’s table of content is well structured as it has covered the area surrounding the topic as well as the topic itself. Our topic is exploring how Europe under developed Africa and the first chapter defines what is development and underdevelopment. This way it will be easier for the reader to have a parameter to base an opinion on when reading the book. The second chapter includes glimpses of Africa up to the 15th century before the Europeans colonized it. Rodney’s table of contents does also imply that his claim that Africa was doing better before the Europeans is solidified as he has offered a whole sub-chapter as examples. The third chapter is concerned with the pre-colonial period and the rise of Europe worldwide as well as Africa’s contribution to the European economy. In the fourth chapter Rodney identifies slave trade, technological stagnation and continuing military developments in Africa were the root cause of its underdevelopment. In chapter 5, it seems that Rodney takes a sharp turn to imply that Africa contributed to the development of Europe. Finally, Rodney shows a system that has been designed to under develop Africa that is colonialism in chapter six. The previous paragraph is my own interpretation of what the book might present as a solid case to prove how Europe underdeveloped Africa. However, that might not be the case and further analysis is required to assess the solidity of this book. In the preface that is the message sent directly from the author to the reader, Rodney proudly announces a few shortcomings such as the lack of extensive investigation on prudent issues such as neo-colonialism (Rodney, Preface). However, it is clear from that message that the author intended that his book would remain as cheap as possible so that his fellow African can read through the nature of their exploitation. 3....
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