Haymarket Books
Books for changing the world
Extracting Profit
Imperialism, Neoliberalism and the New Scramble for Africa
A piercing historical explanation for poverty and inequality in African societies today, and social impact of resource-driven growth.

A piercing historical explanation of poverty and inequality in African societies today and the social impact of resource-driven growth, Extracting Profit explains why Africa, in the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century, has undergone an economic boom. This period of “Africa rising” did not lead to the creation of jobs, but has instead fueled the growth of the extraction of natural resources and an increasingly wealthy African ruling class.

Lee Wengraf is a socialist and activist based in New York City. She writes on Africa for the International Socialist Review and Socialist Worker.

  • “Lee Wengraf’s Extracting Profit - Imperialism, Neoliberalism and The New Scramble for Africa is at once historical and contemporary. It unpacks ongoing resource crimes by analytically exposing its historical roots and pointing to ways by which the oppressed can cut off the bonds that lock in their subjugation.” —Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation

    Extracting Profit provides a great arch of scutiny from the earliest carve-up of the African continent, through colonialism, war, imperialism, to the recent neo-liberal take- over. The book demonstrates the continued importance of Marxist anaylsis on the continent, asserting the centrality of class analysis and a project of revolutionary change.Wengraf provides us with a major contribution, that highlights contemporary developments and the role of China on the African continent that has perplexed and baffled scholars. An indispensable volume.” —Leo Zeilig, author of Frantz Fanon: The Militant Philosopher of Third World Revolution


    "The history of resource frontiers everywhere is always one of lethal violence, militarism, empire amidst the forcing house of capital accumulation. Lee Wengraf in   Extracting Profit powerfully reveals the contours of  Africa’s 21st century version of this history.  The scramble for resources, markets, and investments  have congealed into a frightening militarization across the continent, creating and fueling the conditions for further political instability. Wengraf documents how expanded American, but also Chinese, presence  coupled with the War on Terror,  point to both the enduring rivalry among global superpowers across the continent and a perfect storm of resource exploitation. Wengraf offers up a magisterial synopsis of the challenges confronting contemporary Africa." —Michael Watts, University of California, Berkeley