Paperback review: Scapegoat: Why We Are Failing Disabled People, By Katharine Quarmby

Don't look the other way: exposing disability hate crime in Britain

In this study, the journalist Katharine Quarmby argues that Western culture "has a serious and pernicious problem with disability hate crime".

Her approach is ambitious and sweeping: she explores attitudes to disability from Ancient Greece to Nazi Germany, before appraising the disturbing increase in violence against disabled people in modern Britain. As cultural history, I found Scapegoat a little unconvincing: too many disparate social factors and discrete historical moments are run together to fit Quarmby's overarching theory about prejudice. But the chapters that deal with specific incidents make for moving, powerful reading. This could prove an important book.

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