Reviews - ROAPE
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Reviews

Reviews

ROAPE Online publishes reviews of academic and political books as well as fiction, exhibitions, social movement events and film. Our reviews examine the scholarly debates within Africa political economy, but can also focus on important cultural events taking place on the continent and elsewhere. The recommended length is 800 words or up to 2,000 for a review article of several books, films or events.

  • Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is a masterpiece. In this review of the new edition of the book by Verso, Andy Higginbottom celebrates a classic that has lost none of its power. The book brings together in a broad narrative the history of the African continent from a perspective that is at one and the same time Pan-Africanist and Marxist. For all of those interested in Africa’s history and future, the book must be studied once more. Review of Walter Rodney (2018) How Europe Underdeveloped Africa  (London/New York: Verso) By Andy Higginbottom This book is a masterpiece. Walter Rodney wrote How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (HEUA) in his late twenties while a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The book brings together in a broad narrative the history of the African continent from a perspective that is at one and the same......

  • Walter Rodney’s posthumous book The Russian Revolution: A View from the Third World  sought to understand the significance of the Revolution in order to the strengthen liberation movements that Rodney was directly involved in. As Martin Empson explains in this review, these movements took place in the context of historical colonial exploitation or in underdeveloped economies, economies that Rodney argues had been depleted of their wealth, resources and population by Western capitalism. What emerges is a fascinating study of 1917 from a different perspective from the one that emerges from the debates and histories written in Europe and North America. By Martin Empson Walter Rodney was a leading revolutionary intellectual of anti-colonial and revolutionary movements in Africa and the Caribbean. Born in 1942, by the 1960s he was a leading radical voice in the emerging Black Power movements. His academic work in Jamaica’s University of the......

  • Nataliya Mykhalchenko reviews a book that describes the devastating impact of tax havens and capital flight for Africa. The book details the intricate relationship between capital flight, global corporations, bank secrecy and the elites, i.e. the power-accumulation nexus. As a proportion of total wealth, Africa is the most afflicted continent in the world. For example, elites on the continent hold approximately USD 500 billion in financial wealth offshore, roughly 30% of total financial wealth held by Africans....

  • Remi Adekoya reviews a new book on the exploitation and underdevelopment of Africa. Extracting Profits by Lee Wengraf is a treasure-trove of facts and figures about Africa for anyone interested in the political economy of Africa’s past, present and future. However, Adekoya argues that for any systemic change to occur on the continent there must be a shift in the mind-set of those in charge, otherwise all that will be achieved is the replacement of one set of looters by another, only this time holding up different slogans....

  • Bettina Engels reviews a new book that traces the history of Burkina Faso’s student movement. The book by Lila Chouli demonstrates how the movement's development is closely connected with the general political struggles in the country and how organised students have positioned themselves in opposition to the state and ruling elite and questioned the very political and economic system itself....

  • In a review of Jörg Wiegratz’s 'Neoliberal Moral Economy' based on years of research in Uganda, Yusuf Serunkuma Kajura discusses the central observation of the book that fraud (theft, short-termism, corruption, trickery etc.) has become widespread in contemporary capitalist societies. Wiegratz argues that the impact of the World Bank and IMF enforced structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), to a system of cooperation and trust in society has fundamentally altered Africa's moral economy....

  • Colin Fancy reviews The Fall, an extraordinary play about a protest movement in South African in 2015-16 which has had an enormous impact in the West –  witness the campaign to tear down the racist Confederate statues in USA. The Fall, he argues, is about a struggle that we must fight simultaneously with our activist sisters and brothers in South Africa....

  • On the launch of the English edition of Zohra Drif's extraordinary autobiography 'Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter', Sarah Grey spends an evening with Algeria's national-liberation heroine in Washington. In unflinching detail and with piercing honesty, Drif describes the struggle against French occupation and colonialism in Algeria, and her vital role in the Battle of Algiers in the late 1950s....

  • In a review of an important recent exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya, Craig Halliday writes that ‘Sensing Nairobi’ (8-30 June, 2017) sought to capture, reflect and define Nairobi’s ambiguous urban landscape....

  • In a review of an important recent book on the origins of capitalism, Andy Wynne argues that the authors provide an important introduction towards a truly global history of capitalism. The development of capitalism in Western Europe was possible because of its ‘backwardness’ and with the vital inputs and roles of a range of more advanced non-European societies. ...