Skip Navigation
Books for changing the world
How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America
Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society

"How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America is one of those paradigm-shifting, life-changing texts that has not lost its currency or relevance—even after three decades. Its provocative treatise on the ravages of late capitalism, state violence, incarceration, and patriarchy on the life chances and struggles of black working-class men and women shaped an entire generation, directing our energies to the terrain of the prison-industrial complex, anti-racist work, labor organizing, alternatives to racial capitalism, and challenging patriarchy—personally and politically." —Robin D. G. Kelley

"In this new edition of his classic text . . . Marable can challenge a new generation to find solutions to the problems that constrain the present but not our potential to seek and define a better future."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

"[A] prescient analysis." —Michael Eric Dyson

How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America is a classic study of the intersection of racism and class in the United States. It has become a standard text for courses in American politics and history, and has been central to the education of thousands of political activists since the 1980s. This edition is presented with a new foreword by Leith Mullings.


  • “Manning Marable never stopped wrestling with this landmark volume, and neither should we. Ranging widely across time, spheres, and data, this work, at once polemical and analytical, continues to offer an account of inequality at the intersection of class, gender, and race that has yet to be matched. Some three decades on, How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America remains a book that provokes, informs, and motivates.” —Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University

    “A cohesive portrait of black America.” —Cornel West


    “Manning was an unflinching and breathtakingly prolific scholar whose commitments to racial, economic, gender, and international justice were unparalleled. … There are two generations of African-American scholars who will remember him as much for the mentor he was to us as for the research legacy he leaves. … When I think of Manning himself it is as a great well — possessing reserves of energy, intellect and commitment I have never before witnessed.” —Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC

    “A groundbreaking historian … one of America’s truest public intellectuals.” —John Nichols, The Nation


Related blog posts View all related posts

Other books of interest