A contribution to the rapidly developing field of Afrocentric studies, this book is a thoughtful critique of Eurocentric traditions of social and historical analysis - principally Marxist and liberal orientations - and an argument in favour of studying African history and culture from a specifically Afrocentric point of view. According to Clinton M. Jean, there is a poor fit between European theories and African realities, and this disjunction has contributed to a tragic history of racism and colonial exploitation. He argues for the historical priority of African culture and for the acceptance of African communal structures as models for peaceful, nonexploitative social organization elsewhere in the world. This is not a dispassionate work of "value-free" social science, but rather an engaged statement of a position, designed to question the assumptions of such conventional approaches and to promote constructive debate. It draws on Jean's experience as a Trinidadian who received his professional education in American universities.