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Golden Gulag By Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Golden Gulag by Ruth Wilson Gilmore

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Summary

Provides an explanation for the increase in number of people in US prisons by more than 450%. This book examines the issue through statewide, rural, and urban perspectives to explain how the expansion developed from surpluses of finance capital, labor, land, and state capacity.

Golden Gulag Summary

Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California by Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Since 1980, the number of people in U.S. prisons has increased more than 450%. Despite a crime rate that has been falling steadily for decades, California has led the way in this explosion, with what a state analyst called 'the biggest prison building project in the history of the world'. Golden Gulag provides the first detailed explanation for that buildup by looking at how political and economic forces, ranging from global to local, conjoined to produce the prison boom. In an informed and impassioned account, Ruth Wilson Gilmore examines this issue through statewide, rural, and urban perspectives to explain how the expansion developed from surpluses of finance capital, labor, land, and state capacity. Detailing crises that hit California's economy with particular ferocity, she argues that defeats of radical struggles, weakening of labor, and shifting patterns of capital investment have been key conditions for prison growth. The results - a vast and expensive prison system, a huge number of incarcerated young people of color, and the increase in punitive justice such as the 'three strikes' law - pose profound and troubling questions for the future of California, the United States, and the world. Golden Gulag provides a rich context for this complex dilemma, and at the same time challenges many cherished assumptions about who benefits and who suffers from the state's commitment to prison expansion.

Golden Gulag Reviews

A magnificent analysis of the political economy of super-incarceration and the slave plantations that California calls prisons. - Mike Davis, author of Ecology of Fear Golden Gulag is a deeply necessary book for our times. Gilmore digs beneath the easy answers to the more troubling causes of a political consensus that prisons are the only solution to all urban and rural ills. - Nayan Shah, author of Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco's Chinatown

About Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Associate Professor of Geography and Director of the Program in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is a member of the founding collective of Critical Resistance, one of the most important national anti-prison organizations in the United States.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Prologue: The Bus 1. Introduction 2. The California Political Economy 3. The Prison Fix 4. Crime, Croplands, and Capitalism 5. Mothers Reclaiming Our Children 6. What Is to Be Done? Epilogue: Another Bus Notes

Additional information

NPB9780520242012
9780520242012
0520242017
Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California by Ruth Wilson Gilmore
New
Paperback
University of California Press
20070108
412
N/A
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