Racial Capitalism and the Case for Abolition

Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Haymarket Books (February, 2021)

Trade paper • ISBN: 9781642594140 • US $15.95 • 7.5 in x 5.25 in • 250 pgs.


Racial, gender, and environmental justice. Class war. Militarism. Interpersonal violence. Old age security. This is not the vocabulary many use to critique the prison-industrial complex. 

But in this series of powerful lectures, Ruth Wilson Gilmore shows the only way to dismantle the systems and logics of control and punishment is to change questions, categories, and campaigns from the ground up. 

Abolitionism doesn’t just say no to police, prisons, border control, and the current punishment system. It requires persistent organizing for what we need, organizing that’s already present in the efforts people cobble together to achieve access to schools, health care and housing, art and meaningful work, and freedom from violence and want. 

As Gilmore makes plain, “Abolition requires that we change one thing: everything.” 

Change Everything is the inaugural book in the new “Abolitionist Papers” book series, edited by Naomi Murakawa.


“Ruthie has always been very clear that prison abolition is not just about closing prisons. It’s a theory of change.”

Michelle Alexander, author, The New Jim Crow

“In three decades of advocating for prison abolition, the activist and scholar has helped transform how people think about criminal justice.”

New York Times Magazine


Ruth Wilson Gilmore is professor of earth and environmental sciences and director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at CUNY Graduate Center. A co-founder of California Prison Moratorium Project and Critical Resistance, she is author of the prize-winning book Golden Gulag: Prison, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California.


Please contact subagents for the following languages and territories:

Language/Territory Subagent
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and VietnamBig Apple Agency
DutchSebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
FrenchDeborah Druba Agency
GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
GreekRead n' Right Agency
HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianThe Nabu International Literary Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Scandinavia Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
Spanish in Latin AmericaInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
Spanish in SpainInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.