A Revolutionary for Our Time: The Walter Rodney Story

Regular price $ 22.95

by Leo Zeilig

Haymarket Books

4/5/2022, paperback

SKU: 9781642595819


Rodney's immensely creative and original use of Marxism was both a challenge to radical understandings of development and colonization but also faithful to a certain framework of analysis in the period he lived

Walter Rodney was a scholar, working class militant, and revolutionary from Guyana. Strongly influenced by Marxist ideas, he remains central to radical Pan-Africanist thought for large numbers of activists today. Rodney lived through the failed - though immensely hopeful - socialist experiments in the 1960s and 1970s, in Tanzania and elsewhere.

The book critically considers Rodney's contribution to Marxist theory and history, his relationship to dependency theory and the contemporary significance of his work in the context of movements and politics today. The first full-length study of Rodney's life, this book is an essential introduction to Rodney's work.


"A Revolutionary for Our Time is both timely and necessary. Through Walter Rodney's ideas and actions, it engages the weighty issues of the current moment. More than a biography of a remarkable individual, we get the optics of a family committed to radical, worldwide transformation and the crosscurrent of people who embraced them as well as the local-global networks of power they dared to challenge." --Kwasi Konadu, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Endowed Chair, Colgate University

"Seeing, listening to or reading Walter Rodney, before and after his unfortunate death, something always puzzled and stayed with me - The How of Walter Rodney. How did this relatively young brother from a small Caribbean nation gain such a vast world view? How was he able to grasp the conditions of the Pan African world so firmly and translate those conditions through his socialist worldview? How was Rodney able to move so fluidly through communities in the Caribbean, the US, the UK, Africa and literally the whole of the Pan African world? How was he accepted and loved as kin in all of those communities? And how did he become the number one target of a Guyanese government desperately plotting to end his life? And of late, my big one, how does Walter Rodney still endure timelessly in the immediate consciousness of so many Pan-African activists and thinkers today? Without fail Leo Zeilig's enduring A Revolutionary for Our Time answered these and so many other "how's" beyond my considerations." --Paul Coates, Black Classic Press

"This is a splendid narrative of Walter Rodney's legendary life and work across three continents. Leo Zeilig's singular achievement is to have brilliantly located Rodney, the Black Power Marxist, at the intersection of the politics of radical nationalism and visionary socialism that suffused the pan-African world in the 60s and 70s. An unforgettable read.'' --Issa Shivji, Emeritus Professor, University of Dar es Salaam

About the Author:

Leo Zeilig is a writer and researcher. He has written extensively on African politics and history, including books on working-class struggle and the development of revolutionary movements and biographies on some of Africa's most important political thinkers and activists. Leo is an editor of the Review of African Political Economy--the radical African-studies journal founded by activists and scholars in 1974--and a research associate at the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.