Throughout this remarkably interdisciplinary book, ranging across fields as diverse as rural studies, musicology, development studies, and anthropology, Woods demonstrates the role of music—including jazz, rock and roll, soul, rap and, above all, the blues—in sustaining a radical vision of social change.
“A stunning and fresh analysis of the political economy of white supremacy and the redemptive power of the blues. All Americans, especially students, scholars, general readers and policy makers, who care about the extension of democracy and the future of black freedom, should read and discuss Clyde Woods’ intriguing book.”
“Development Arrested has no peer, for Clyde Woods is a rare scholar who takes the blues seriously as theory and social critique. Arguing that this folk discourse emerged in response to economic and political restructuring in the Delta during the twentieth century, he goes on to show how it constitutes a critique of the plantation South, New South modernization, and the transformation of capitalist agriculture during the so-called Green Revolution. To paraphrase something Marx said a long time ago, Development Arrested reveals the connection between the arm of criticism (i.e. the blues/social science) and the criticism of arms: struggle for power in the Delta.””
“Woods should be applauded for pointing out the absurdity of a situation in which, for instance, whole families—made obsolete my machinery, genetic research, and high yield fertilizers—are allowed to starve within eyeshot of fields that government pay affluent farmers to leave fallow.”