Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People” as Want to Read:
Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  326 ratings  ·  64 reviews

In austerity Britain, disabled people have become the favourite target. From social care to the benefits system, politicians and media alike have made the case Britain's 12 million disabled people are a drain on the public purse. In Crippled, leading commentator Frances Ryan exposes the disturbing reality, telling the story of those most affected by this devastating regime

...more
Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Verso
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Crippled, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Crippled

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  326 ratings  ·  64 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People
Fuchsia Carter
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a disabled person I have never felt that a book could convey the way I am forced to lived. Yet Dr Ryan has given my community a voice and boy is it loud.

This fact based book of testimony and savage treatment is hard to read but you will be thankful you did.
Domhnall
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
In the decade since a Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government came to power in the UK in 2010, austerity policies will have cut social security benefits by £35 billion, while tax cuts will cost the UK Treasury some £47 billion per year. [p176] It goes without saying that this regressive and economically illiterate policy has never achieved its stated objectives - public debt has increased and the government’s budget is not likely to balance any time soon - but it is only very recent ...more
Alex Lockwood
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A necessary read for everyone in Britain and it’s a shame that people who voted Tory didn’t (wouldn’t) read it prior to the election. It’s a forensic analysis of the purposeful attacks on people with disabilities in the UK as a way to ‘other’ them and justify the austerity policies of this outgoing decade.

A huge amount of data and storytelling, I wished the editors had helped structure the book in a way that created more of a potential outcome or series of answers to the crisis.

Also missing we
...more
Tessa Leake
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of the most important books I’ve read this year. Have definitely been forced to confront a lot of ableist privilege that I maybe hadn’t been aware of previously.

An excellent introduction to the topic and something I’d like to read more about in future.
Paul Ataua
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Crippled’ examines the tragic situation facing the disabled in the last ten years of cuts to benefits that have taken place. Of course, it is stirring stuff. These things should be read and the ensuing anger should be felt. It places most of it blame on the Coalition and then Conservative government of that period, but it does point out that the earlier Blair Labour government was not without guilt in its treatment of the disabled. That it does all this is admirable. These governments should be ...more
Bettie
Jun 18, 2019 marked it as wish-list  ·  review of another edition

Crippled: Austerity and the Demonisation of Disabled People by Frances Ryan – review This damning insight into the state’s callous treatment of disabled people calls for a new ‘solidarity politics’
...more
Kaia Landelius
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is INFURIATING.
J
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
upsetting!

Ryan does a really good job of both showing the suffering of disabled lives under austerity without reducing it to anything inherent or tragic in disability itself: at each step she shows the structural character of material deprivation under austerity and the surreal necropolitical cruelty of it.

The ironic title "Crippled" begs the question: who is doing the "crippling"? (hint, its the Tories and also labour fuck you all)

One star however removed for the Guardian op ed writing style !
...more
Milly
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting delve into the horrifying effects of austerity for disabled people in the last decade. As the vast majority of the book was recounting stats and stories from disabled people effected by austerity, it wasn’t until the conclusion that the book focused on the future (basically saying get the tories out) - I would have liked more of a look in to discussing how the author feels positive and progressive change could be brought about in the future, but it was an fascinating (and toug ...more
Fern Adams
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I felt very represented by this book which was quite an unusual feeling. When I talk to people about what it’s like to need care, accessibility and the process of going through PIP etc they tend to be quite shocked. The thing is they shouldn’t be, as as this book shows the way disabled people are treated across Britain is appalling. I found myself nodding my head about care cuts, about having to go to bed by 6pm and being stuck there unable to do anything for 14 plus hours as you’re on someone e ...more
Gesine
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Read it and weep.
Andy Mcloughlin
Jun 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s rare that I actually get angry about social issues, but this book made me angry. Ryan is writing about the experience of being disabled in Britain in the age of Tory government austerity, and I think what really riles me is the self-righteousness of those who imposed such a regime of cruelty on their own people. There was always a touch of moral panic mixed in with the economic dogma of austerity, and Ryan does well to emphasise the former in this text. Some members of the Tory party may se ...more
Sarah Troke
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really hard to read at points as it’s so painful to hear the stories of suffering that have been inflicted upon disabled people under austerity. Despite being difficult at points I think it is essential reading, especially as so often disabled people are missing from reporting about politics, policy and programme Interventions. This book synthesises personal stories, policy, statistics, and a range of other sources to show the far-reaching and destructive effects that austerity has ...more
Wouter
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book paints a harrowing picture of how the politics of austerity and capitalism by default strip away human rights and basic dignity from people with disabilities who are unable to participate in capitalist society. This is an infuriating but vital read for anyone who wants to understand the importance of disability rights movement and why capitalist society inherently oppresses people with disabilities.
Valerie Kaufmann
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ryan does a great job of mixing individual human stories with cold, hard numbers. Though she is writing about Britain, the rise of individualistic thought and subsequent undermining of social services is all too familiar to American audiences! The book ends with the reminder that when the safety net fails disabled people, it fails all of us.
MichaelK
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journalism, politics
A very important but relentlessly upsetting book. It will make you very angry.
Max Ritter
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
One of the fundamental ideas behind this book is a crucial concept to understand when it comes to Disability Justice: When sweeping changes are made, we must pay attention to the overlooked and vulnerable. Britain has often prized itself on the phrase "A Civilization is Measured by How It Treats Its Weakest Members", and it historically brags about pioneering disability rights. Yet when the economic crash of 2010 came, the disabled were endangered by Austerity measures which gutted the welfare s ...more
Chris Harvey
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the most important pieces of nonfiction in British literary history. Dr. Frances Ryan has not only brought much-needed attention to a subject that goes way to under the radar due to nefarious actors mainly the media and higher political class. She has also backed it up with incredible detail to sources which are all referenced, this book will bring about a wave of empathic anger but will urge you into action against the causes and people behind these human right abuses. This ...more
Iqra Choudhry
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such an important book uplifting the voices of the disabled people who have been failed by our society. Impeccably researched, really well written: I couldn't put it down even though it was hard to read. ...more
Tanya Marlow
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, disability
One in three of all disabled people in Britain are living in food poverty. David Clapson, a former lance corporal who died because he was sanctioned for missing two appointments, didn’t have enough money to buy electricity to store his insulin. There was no food in his stomach when he died.

David’s story is just one of the many France Ryan collates in her important book, Crippled. With plentiful case studies and alarming statistics, she presents a compelling case that the ‘austerity regime’ of th
...more
Joy B
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to take a little breath before reviewing this because I was so intensely angry. I was a bit worried this book would be a lot of facts or interviews with little structural analysis, but it happily proved me wrong. 'Crippled' is not only an example of excellent journalism as defined by Michael Hobbes, researched up to the eyeballs but with human interest in the form of personal accounts, it also provides the historical origin of our current attitude and treatment of disabled people. The UK h ...more
Maartje De Meulder
Reading this recently published book by Frances Ryan made me feel extremely uncomfortable, even though I am in fact one of the persons that are the topic of the book: people with disabilities. But one in a very privileged position, that is. ‘Privileged’ because I am able to stay warm, dry, and clean, get dressed in the morning, get out of my house if I want to, am not starving (!!) and have a support network around me. All basic necessities not available for many disabled people in Britain right ...more
N
This was hard fucking going, but that's the point.

Detailed and empathetic journalism, chronicling the ways in which austerity politics have driven disabled people into fear, anxiety and destitution.

I do think the book would have benefitted from a deeper understanding of neoconservative politics. Frances Ryan repeatedly describes a 'deliberate' war on disabled people, conjuring up some nefarious plot to deny human rights. I think the reality lies closer to simple callousness.

Leaving disabled peop
...more
O
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, with some interesting, and shocking, case studies of people who have suffered in ways you didn't think were possible in a civilised country. With time, the book does drag on a bit: several case studies resemble each other, and adding yet another one does not really add much. I think the author might have attracted more attention had she cut out some repetition and, perhaps also included an action-oriented chapter with tips on what individuals can do/should do and suggested meas ...more
Chris Harvey
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the most important pieces of nonfiction in British literary history. Dr. Frances Ryan has not only brought much-needed attention to a subject that goes way to under the radar due to nefarious actors mainly the media and higher political class. She has also backed it up with incredible detail to sources which are all referenced, this book will bring about a wave of empathic anger but will urge you into action against the causes and people behind these human right abuses. This ...more
Kerr
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
A terrific but harrowing book that everyone should be reading before they consider a vote for the Conservatives or Jo Swinson/Lib-Dems. But sadly they won't and why?
Because disabled and mentally ill people dont come into the equation for the UK public. They are there to be scape-goated and punished by draconian government policies , voted in by a public who at best ignores them but many hate them and support the policies brought in by the Tory & Lib-Dem coalition. And lets not forget the tests
...more
Melanie
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ryan is a journalist but this book is well supported with references and fact checking. It contains many affecting stories of disabled people whom Ryan interviewed who have been materially harmed by cuts to health and social care budgets in the name of austerity. Ryan repeatedly talks about the ways in which media and politicians use language which casts disabled people as scoungers, benefits cheats, lazy, workshy, a drain on society, incapable, lacking agency etc. Her analysis of these things i ...more
Ben
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent piece of journalistic literature on the impact of austerity on disabled people in the UK. The multiple interviews create an exhaustive picture of a completely broken system ill-fit for purpose creating untold issues on both a personal and societal level. It would have been interesting to have more perspectives from those in power - the examples Ryan includes are so clearly outrageous that it's difficult to understand how any of the decisions made could be justified.

Impossible to re
...more
Janelle
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such an important book, very highly recommended. Frances combines comprehensive research, her own lived experiences and several powerful real people's stories to show the stark impact of recent policy changes and damaging narratives on the lives of disabled people. It provides more than enough evidence to show that the idea of a safety net in the UK for adults and children who need it is a complete myth. And actually many decisions and cuts have been made actively, in the knowledge that ...more
Carlos Martinez
A well-written, thoroughly-researched and harrowing account of how austerity - and the classist, ableist ideology that accompanies it - has impacted the disabled. Statistics and academic research are very effectively combined with interviews and case studies to paint a vivid picture of just how badly our society is failing. Frances Ryan doesn't hesitate to point out that this failure is optional and unnecessary - fixing it simply requires political will. Read it, support full human rights for di ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence
  • Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent
  • The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment
  • The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet
  • Why You Should be a Trade Unionist
  • Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats
  • Glitch Feminism
  • Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity in This Crisis (And the Next)
  • Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons
  • The Case for the Green New Deal
  • Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging
  • Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us
  • Fattily Ever After: A Black Fat Girl's Guide to Living Life Unapologetically
  • Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers’ Rights
  • Long Live the Post Horn!
  • Feminist City: A Field Guide
  • The Corona Crash: How the Pandemic Will Change Capitalism
  • A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance
See similar books…

News & Interviews

  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
6 likes · 1 comments