‘The War on Disabled People’ by Ellen Clifford is winner of the tenth Bread and Roses Award 2021

29 Oct

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers is pleased to announce that Ellen Clifford is the winner of the tenth Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing for her book The War on Disabled People: Capitalism, Welfare and the Making of a Human Catastrophe (Zed/Bloomsbury, £12.99)

Ellen Clifford said “It is an absolute honour to win the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing, following in the footsteps of great thinkers I have admired and who have used writing to try to make the world a better place. The Bread and Roses Award is the only award I have ever aspired to win because it validates exactly what I aspire to do – which is to use writing to explore ideas that can make the world a better place. I am grateful that the Award and that Radical Booksellers exist. I am also indebted to Zed Books for giving me the opportunity to write and for taking a chance on a first time author.”

Ellen Clifford is a disabled activist who has worked within the disability sector for over twenty years. She currently serves on the National Steering Group for Disabled People Against Cuts. This is her first book.

Karen Shook, former Books Editor at Times Higher Education magazine, on behalf of the judges, said: “The War on Disabled People is a hugely revelatory account of the one-quarter of UK society whose struggle for justice is literally a matter of life and death, and of the determined, defiant disabled activists whose resistance holds important lessons for everyone on the Left.”

She added that the shortlist comprised: “Powerful, wise and wonderfully informative books that not only shine unerring lights on cruelty, inequality and oppression, but also bear witness to humanity, resistance and hope.”

The full shortlist was: 
The War on Disabled People (Zed/Bloomsbury)
Stella Dadzie’s A Kick in the Belly: Women, Slavery and Resistance (Verso)
Marcus Gilroy-Ware’s After the Fact? The Truth About Fake News (Repeater)
Emma Griffin’s Bread Winner: An Intimate History of the Victorian Economy (Yale)
Owen Hatherley’s Red Metropolis: Socialism and the Government of London (Repeater)
Dan Hicks’ The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (Pluto)
and Olivette Otele’s African Europeans: An Untold History (Hurst).

The Bread and Roses Award is the only book award for radical non-fiction. Its little sister is the Little Rebels Award for children’s fiction. Both awards are organised by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers. This award is for books published in 2020, written by writers living in Britain.

The judging and award ceremony was delayed due to COVID. The call out for books published in 2021 will be made soon.

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers comprises new and second hand bookshops, ranging from new shops (nine new members have joined within the last twelve months) through to bookshops that have been around for decades. As well as these awards the ARB organises the London Radical Bookfair, which will return in 2022.

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