Forthcoming Abolitionist Books


Coming Soon


Title (pre-order linked)AuthorDescriptionDate
Abolishing State Violence: A World Beyond Bombs, Borders, and CagesRay AchesonConnecting movements for social justice with ideas for how activists can support and build on this analysis and strategy, this book shows that there are many mutually supportive abolition movements, each enhanced by a shared understanding of the relationship between structures of violence and a shared framework for challenging them on the basis of their roots in patriarchy, racism, militarism, settler colonialism, and capitalism.

This book argues that abolition is transformative. It is about defunding, demilitarizing, disbanding, and divesting from current structures of violence, but also about imagining new ways to organize and care for each other and our planet, and about building new systems and cultures to sustain ourselves in a more equitable, free, and peaceful way. It shows that change is possible.
7/26/22
Abolition Feminisms: Organizing, Survival, and Transformative practiceAlisa Bierria, Jakeya Caruthers, and Brooke Lober (editors)This groundbreaking anthology engages the theme of abolition feminisms, a political tradition grounded in radical anti-violence organizing, Black feminist and feminist of color rebellion, survivor knowledge production, strategies devised inside and across prison walls, and a full, fierce refusal of race-gender pathology and punitive control. This analysis disrupts the politics of carceral feminism as conversations about the ramifications of the prison-industrial complex continue.

7/26/22
The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease CollideSteven ThrasherHaving spent a ground-breaking career studying the racialization, policing, and criminalization of HIV, Dr. Thrasher has come to understand a deeper truth at the heart of our society: that there are vast inequalities in who is able to survive viruses and that the ways in which viruses spread, kill, and take their toll are much more dependent on social structures than they are on biology alone.
Told through the heart-rending stories of friends, activists, and teachers navigating the novel coronavirus, HIV, and other viruses, Dr. Thrasher brings the reader with him as he delves into the viral underclass and lays bare its inner workings. In the tradition of Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim CrowThe Viral Underclass helps us understand the world more deeply by showing the fraught relationship between privilege and survival.
8/2/22
Against Borders: The Case for AbolitionGracie Mae Bradley and Luke De NoronhaBorders harm all of us: they must be abolished.

Borders divide workers and families, fuel racial division, and reinforce global disparities. They encourage the expansion of technologies of surveillance and control, which impact migrants and citizens both.

Bradley and de Noronha tell what should by now be a simple truth: borders are not only at the edges of national territory, in airports, or at border walls. Borders are everyday and everywhere; they follow people around and get between us, and disrupt our collective safety, freedom and flourishing.

Against Borders is a passionate manifesto for border abolition, arguing that we must transform society and our relationships to one another, and build a world in which everyone has the freedom to move and to stay.
8/16/22
No More Police: A Case for AbolitionMariame Kaba and Andrea RitchieIn this powerful call to action, New York Times bestselling author Mariame Kaba and attorney and organizer Andrea J. Ritchie detail why policing doesn’t stop violence, instead perpetuating widespread harm; outline the many failures of contemporary police reforms; and explore demands to defund police, divest from policing, and invest in community resources to create greater safety through a Black feminist lens.

Centering survivors of state, interpersonal, and community-based violence, and highlighting uprisings, campaigns, and community-based projects, No More Police makes a compelling case for a world where the tools required to prevent, interrupt, and transform violence in all its forms are abundant. Part handbook, part road map, No More Police calls on us to turn away from systems that perpetrate violence in the name of ending it toward a world where violence is the exception, and safe, well-resourced and thriving communities are the rule.
8/30/22
Saving Our Own Lives: A Liberatory Practice of Harm ReductionShira HassanHarm Reduction is one of the most important interventions of the 20th century, and yet a compilation of its critical stories and voices was, until now, seemingly nowhere to be found. Saving Our Own Lives, an anthology of essays from long-time organizer Shira Hassan, fills this gap by telling the stories of how sex workers, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, queer folks, trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people are – and have been – building systems of change and support outside the societal frameworks of oppression and exploitation. This is a collective story of trans women of color, who were sex workers and radical political organizers, who created shared housing to ensure that young people had safe places to sleep. It is the story of clean syringes, “liberated” from empathetic doctors’ offices by activists who were punk women of color who distributed them among injection drug users in squats in the East Village, and the early AIDS activists who made sure that everyone knew how to use them. It is the story of Black Panthers and the Young Lords taking over Lincoln Park Hospital in the Bronx to demand and ultimately create community-accessible drug treatment programs; and of bad date sheets passed between sex workers in Portland, who created a data collection tool that changed how prison abolitionists track systemic violence.

At a political moment when mutual aid and harm reduction are more important than ever, this book serves as an inspiration and a catalyst for radical transformation of our world.
10/4/22
Colonial Racial CapitalismSusan Koshy, Lisa Marie Cacho, Jodi Byrd, Brian Jordan Jefferson (editors)The contributors to Colonial Racial Capitalism consider anti-Blackness, human commodification, and slave labor alongside the history of Indigenous dispossession and the uneven development of colonized lands across the globe. They demonstrate the co-constitution and entanglement of slavery and colonialism from the conquest of the New World through industrial capitalism to contemporary financial capitalism. Among other topics, the essays explore the historical suturing of Blackness and Black people to debt, the violence of uranium mining on Indigenous lands in Canada and the Belgian Congo, how municipal property assessment and waste management software encodes and produces racial difference, how Puerto Rican police crackdowns on protestors in 2010 and 2011 drew on decades of policing racially and economically marginalized people, and how historic sites in Los Angeles County narrate the Mexican-American War in ways that occlude the war’s imperialist groundings. The volume’s analytic of colonial racial capitalism opens new frameworks for understanding the persistence of violence, precarity, and inequality in modern society.10/7/22
Change Everything: Racial Capitalism & the Case for AbolitionRuth Wilson GilmoreRacial, 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 that the only way to dismantle 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.
10/11/22
Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We WantRuha BenjaminLong before the pandemic, Ruha Benjamin was doing groundbreaking research on race, technology, and justice, focusing on big, structural changes. But the twin plagues of COVID-19 and anti-Black police violence inspired her to rethink the importance of small, individual actions. Part memoir, part manifesto, Viral Justice is a sweeping and deeply personal exploration of how we can transform society through the choices we make every day.

Vividly recounting her personal experiences and those of her family, Benjamin shows how seemingly minor decisions and habits could spread virally and have exponentially positive effects. She recounts her father’s premature death, illuminating the devastating impact of the chronic stress of racism, but she also introduces us to community organizers who are fostering mutual aid and collective healing. Through her brother’s experience with the criminal justice system, we see the trauma caused by policing practices and mass imprisonment, but we also witness family members finding strength as they come together to demand justice for their loved ones. And while her own challenges as a young mother reveal the vast inequities of our healthcare system, Benjamin also describes how the support of doulas and midwives can keep Black mothers and babies alive and well.

Born of a stubborn hopefulness, Viral Justice offers a passionate, inspiring, and practical vision of how small changes can add up to large ones, transforming our relationships and communities and helping us build a more just and joyful world.
10/11/22
Health Communism: A Surplus ManifestoBeatrice Adler-Bolton and Artie VierkantIn this fiery, theoretical tour-de-force, Beatrice Adler-Bolton and Artie Vierkant offer an overview of life and death under capitalism and argue for a new global left politics aimed at severing the ties between capital and one of its primary tools: health.
Written by co-hosts of the hit “Death Panel” podcast and longtime disability justice and healthcare activists Adler-Bolton and Vierkant, Health Communism first examines how capital has instrumentalized health, disability, madness, and illness to create a class seen as “surplus,” regarded as a fiscal and social burden. Demarcating the healthy from the surplus, the worker from the “unfit” to work, the authors argue, serves not only to undermine solidarity but to mark whole populations for extraction by the industries that have emerged to manage and contain this “surplus” population. Health Communism then looks to the grave threat capital poses to global public health, and at the rare movements around the world that have successfully challenged the extractive economy of health.
Ultimately, Adler-Bolton and Vierkant argue, we will not succeed in defeating capitalism until we sever health from capital. To do this will require a radical new politics of solidarity that centers the surplus, built on an understanding that we must not base the value of human life on one’s willingness or ability to be productive within the current political economy. Capital, it turns out, only fears health.
10/18/22
Abolitionist IntimaciesEl JonesIn Abolitionist Intimacies, El Jones examines the movement to abolish prisons through the Black feminist principles of care and collectivity. Understanding the history of prisons in Canada in their relationship to settler colonialism and anti-Black racism, Jones observes how practices of intimacy become imbued with state violence at carceral sites including prisons, policing and borders, as well as through purported care institutions such as hospitals and social work. The state also polices intimacy through mechanisms such as prison visits, strip searches and managing community contact with incarcerated people. Despite this, Jones argues, intimacy is integral to the ongoing struggles of prisoners for justice and liberation through the care work of building relationships and organizing with the people inside. Through characteristically fierce and personal prose and poetry, and motivated by a decade of prison justice work, Jones observes that abolition is not only a political movement to end prisons; it is also an intimate one deeply motivated by commitment and love.
11/2/22
Abolition RevolutionAviah Sarah Day and Shanice Octavia McBeanGeorge Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis triggered abolitionist shockwaves. Calls to defund the police found receptive ears around the world. Shortly after, Sarah Everard’s murder by a serving police officer compounded these calls in Britain. But to abolish the interlocking systems of police, prison and border power, we must confront the legacy of Empire.

Abolition Revolution is a historical, theoretical and practical guide to revolutionary abolitionist politics in Britain. The authors trace the evolution of policing and criminalisation from their colonial roots to their contemporary expression, as found in ‘Prevent’ and drug laws targeting Black communities. They also draw out a rich history of grassroots resistance, from the founding of the Notting Hill Carnival in 1959 to transformative responses to repressive community policing today.

With a forceful critique of carceral feminism, alongside an exposition of how these systems fail as a response to social dynamics such as crime, the book offers a compelling and grounded vision for abolition that takes us away from punitivity from above and into community based forms of accountability from below.
11/22/22
Detention Empire: Reagan’s War on Immigrants and the Seeds of ResistanceKristina ShullThe early 1980s marked a critical turning point for the rise of modern mass incarceration in the United States. The Mariel Cuban migration of 1980, alongside increasing arrivals of Haitian and Central American asylum-seekers, galvanized new modes of covert warfare in the Reagan administration’s globalized War on Drugs. Using newly available government documents, Shull demonstrates how migrant detention operates as a form of counterinsurgency at the intersections of US war-making and domestic carceral trends. As the Reagan administration developed retaliatory enforcement measures to target a racialized specter of mass migration, it laid the foundations of new forms of carceral and imperial expansion.

Reagan’s war on immigrants also sowed seeds of mass resistance. Drawing on critical refugee studies, community archives, protest artifacts, and oral histories, Detention Empire also shows how migrants resisted state repression at every turn. People in detention and allies on the outside—including legal advocates, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, and the Central American peace and Sanctuary movements—organized hunger strikes, caravans, and prison uprisings to counter the silencing effects of incarceration and speak truth to US empire. As the United States remains committed to shoring up its borders in an era of unprecedented migration and climate crisis, reckoning with these histories takes on new urgency.
October 2022
This is My Jail: Local Politics and the Rise of Mass IncarcerationMelanie NewportWhile state and federal prisons like Attica and Alcatraz occupy a central place in the national consciousness, most incarceration in the United States occurs within the walls of local jails. In This Is My Jail, Melanie D. Newport situates the late twentieth-century escalation of mass incarceration in a longer history of racialized, politically repressive jailing. Centering the political actions of people until now overlooked—jailed people, wardens, corrections officers, sheriffs, and the countless community members who battled over the functions and impact of jails—Newport shows how local, grassroots contestation shaped the rise of the carceral state.

As ground zero for struggles over criminal justice reform, particularly in the latter half of the twentieth century, jails in Chicago and Cook County were models for jailers and advocates across the nation who aimed to redefine jails as institutions of benevolent transformation. From a slave sale on the jail steps to new jail buildings to electronic monitoring, from therapy to job training, these efforts further criminalized jailed people and diminished their capacity to organize for their civil rights. With prisoners as famous as Al Capone, Dick Gregory, and Harold Washington, and a place in culture ranging from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle to B. B. King’s Live in Cook County JailThis Is My Jail places jails at the heart of twentieth-century urban life and politics.

As a sweeping history of urban incarceration, This Is My Jail shows that jails are critical sites of urban inequality that sustain the racist actions of the police and judges and exacerbate the harms wrought by housing discrimination, segregated schools, and inaccessible health care. Structured by liberal anti-Blackness and legacies of violence, today’s jails reflect longstanding local commitments to the unfreedom of poor people of color.
December 2022
Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition FeminismLeigh GoodmarkSince the 1970s, anti-violence advocates have worked to make the legal system more responsive to gender-based violence. But greater state intervention in cases of intimate partner violence, rape, sexual assault, and trafficking has led to the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of victims, particularly women of color and trans and gender-nonconforming people. Imperfect Victims argues that only dismantling the system will bring that punishment to an end.

Amplifying the voices of survivors, including her own clients, abolitionist law professor Leigh Goodmark deftly guides readers on a step-by-step journey through the criminalization of survival. Abolition feminism reveals the possibility of a just world beyond the carceral state, which is fundamentally unable to respond to, let alone remedy, harm. As Imperfect Victims shows, abolition feminism is the only politics and practice that can unwind the indescribable damage inflicted on survivors by the very system purporting to protect them.
1/3/23
Stayed On Freedom: The Long History of Black Power through One Family’s JourneyDan BergerThe Black Power movement, often associated with its iconic spokesmen, derived much of its energy from the work of people whose stories have never been told. Stayed on Freedom brings into focus two unheralded Black Power activists who dedicated their lives to the fight for freedom.  

Zoharah Simmons and Michael Simmons fell in love while organizing tenants and workers in the South. Their commitment to each other and to social change took them on a decades-long journey that traversed first the country and then the world. In centering their lives, historian Dan Berger shows how Black Power united the local and the global across organizations and generations.  

Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, Stayed on Freedom is a moving and intimate portrait of two people trying to make a life while working to make a better world.  
1/24/23
Healing Justice Lineages: Dreaming at the Crossroads of Liberation, Collective Care, and SafetyCara Page and Erica Woodland    In this anthology, Black queer feminist editors Cara Page and Erica Woodland guide readers through the history, legacies, and liberatory practices of healing justice–a political strategy of collective care that intervenes on generational trauma from systemic violence and oppression. Organized in three sections, Healing Justice Lineages recovers the ancestral medicines and practices that sustained communities under attack and oppression, while imagining, building, and calling into being what comes next.2/7/23
Let This Radicalize You: Organizing and the Revolution of Reciprocal CareKelly Hayes and Mariame KabaLongtime organizers and movement educators Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes examine some of the political lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid, and consider what this confluence of power can teach us about a future that will require mass acts of care, rescue and defense, in the face of both state violence and environmental disaster.

The book is an assemblage of co-authored reflections, interviews and questions that are intended to aid and empower activists and organizers as they attempt to map their own journeys through the work of justice-making. It includes insights from a spectrum of experienced organizers, including Sharon Lungo, Carlos Saavedra, Ejeris Dixon, Barbara Ransby, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore about some of the difficult and joyous lessons they have learned in their work.
3/7/23

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Captives: How Rikers Island Took New York City HostageJarrod Shanahanorder
America, Goddam: Violence, Black Women, and the Struggle for JusticeTreva B. Lindseyorder
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Abortion to Abolition: Reproductive Health and Justice in CanadaMartha Paynterorder
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Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else)Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwòorder
Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central AppalachiaJudah Scheptorder
Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families–and How Abolition Can Build a Safer WorldDorothy Robertsorder
Defund, Disarm, Dismantle: Police Abolition in CanadaShiri Pasternak, Kevin Walby and Abby Stadnyk (editors)order
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Abolition. Feminism. Now.Angela Davis, Gina Dent, Erica Meiners, and Beth Richieorder
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Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of FreedomDerecka Purnell
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Lessons in Liberation: An Abolitionist Educator’s ToolkitCritical Resistance Abolitionist Educators Workgrouporder
Violent Order: Essays on the Nature of PoliceDavid Correia and Tyler Wall (editors)order
Collage of book covers including: Becoming Abolitionists by Derecka Purnell, Abolition Feminism Now by Davis, Dent, Meiners, and Richie, Lessons in Liberation by the Critical Resistance Educators’ Collective, We Do This ‘Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba, Prisons Make Us Safer by Victoria Law, Prison By Any Other Name by Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Border and Rule by Harsha Walia, Change Everything by Ruth Wilson Gilmore, How to Abolish Prisons by Rachel Herzing and Justin Piche, A World Without Police by Geo Maher, and Brick by Brick by the Cradle Community.

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