Austerity bites

A journey to the sharp end of cuts in the UK

By Mary O'Hara

Austerity bites
  • Published:

    16 Apr 2015
  • Page count:

    336 pages
  • ISBN:

    978-1447315704
  • Product Dimensions:

    138 x 216 mm
  • GBP 10.99 GBP 8.79You save GBP 2.20 (20%)
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  • Published:

    28 May 2014
  • Page count:

    336 pages
  • ISBN:

    978-1447315605
  • Product Dimensions:

    148 x 216 mm
  • GBP 21.99 GBP 17.59You save GBP 4.40 (20%)
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  • Published:

    28 May 2014
  • Page count:

    336 pages
  • ISBN:

    978-1447315629
  • Product Dimensions:

    138 x 216 mm
  • GBP 5.99 GBP 4.79You save GBP 1.20 (20%)
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  • Published:

    28 May 2014
  • Page count:

    336 pages
  • ISBN:

    978-1447315636
  • Product Dimensions:

    138 x 216 mm
  • GBP 5.99 GBP 4.79You save GBP 1.20 (20%)
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Voted one of the Guardian best books of 2014 by Owen Jones. After coming to power in May 2010, the Coalition government in the United Kingdom embarked on a drastic programme of cuts to public spending and introduced a raft of austerity measures that had profoundly damaging effects on much of the population. This bestselling book by award-winning journalist Mary O’Hara chronicles the true impact of austerity on people at the sharp end, based on her ‘real-time’ 12-month journey around the country just as the most radical reforms were being rolled out in 2012 and 2013. Drawing on hundreds of hours of compelling first-person interviews, with a broad spectrum of people ranging from homeless teenagers, older job-seekers, pensioners, charity workers, employment advisers and youth workers, as well as an extensive body of research and reports, the book explores the grim reality of living under the biggest shakeup of the welfare state in 60 years. with a new Foreword by Mark Blyth, Professor of International Political economy and International Studies at Brown University, USA, Austerity Bites dispels any notion that “we are all in this together” and offers an alternative to the dominant and simplistic narrative that we inhabit a country of “skivers versus strivers".
Mary O'Hara is an award-winning social affairs journalist (Including Mind Journalist of the Year and Highly Commended European Diversity Journalist of the Year 2013). She writes about health, poverty and social justice for publications including The Guardian and The Observer. Mary was educated at St. Louise's Comprehensive on the Falls Road in Belfast and at Magdalene College Cambridge where she read social and political science. In 2010 she was an Alistair Cooke Fulbright Scholar at UC Berkeley, California where she conducted research on press coverage of mental illness and suicide. She is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and trustee of the charity, Arts Emergency.
Foreword by Mark Thomas;
Foreword by Mark Blyth;
Preface to the paperback edition;
Introduction;
Money’s too tight to mention;
The big squeeze;
Welcome to ‘Wongaland’;
Work maketh the person;
All work and no pay;
Bearing the brunt;
A life lived in fear is a life half lived;
Conclusion
Afterword to the paperback edition.

Voted one of the Guardian best books of 2014 by Owen Jones
"Strips bare the reality of what Osbornomics means for human beings and, crucially, gives a platform to voices that are otherwise unheard and deliberately ignored." The Guardian

"Should be required reading for every MP, peer, councillor, civil servant and commentator. The fury and sense of powerlessness that so many people feel at government policy beam out of every page." Melissa Benn, Guardian

"A fine record of how it feels to be among those who have been selected to pay the highest price for a crisis they had no part in producing." Sociology

"One of the best critiques I have ever read of how 'WongaLand', the profiteering by money lenders and pawn shops, has caused massive financial burdens and hardships for the poorest families whilst making massive profits for the businesses." Sociology

"O'Hara's book is a welcome addition to our understanding of the real meaning of austerity in contemporary Britain"---Community Development Journal

"Mary O'Hara's book strips away the rhetoric to reveal the truth. The United Kingdom is not the land of fairness, it's a fearful place, where the heaviest burdens fall on the weakest." Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform

"A welcome addition to our understanding of the real meaning of austerity in comtemporary Britain." Community Development Journal

"Both the immediate injustice and the waste of human potential leap from the pages of this book." Kitty Stewart, LSE

"Austerity Bites is a book brimming with anger at the multiple injustices in the United Kingdom and how the current austerity programme is underpinning and exacerbating these inequalities." Disability & Society

?"A thoroughly authentic, fair but passionate account of a Britain that we at Community Links know only too well. It's a powerful story, too little heard and understood, but brilliantly told. I hope you will send a copy to the Prime Minister." David Robinson, OBE, Founder of Community Links

"Travelling around the country interviewing people allowed Mary O’Hara to harness first-hand accounts of the fallout of cuts in the UK. Austerity Bites brings together many poignant stories of people affected by the first impact of the coalition government's choice to impose social austerity on Britain." Danny Dorling, University of Oxford

"An uncomfortable but necessary read" Robin Ince

“Mary O'Hara’s mission is to give voice to those experiencing hardship or injustice who are rarely heard. She travelled the UK for a year to bear witness to the effects of Austerity Britain and we should all pay attention to the result.” Janine Gibson, Editor in Chief, Guardian US

"This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the great human cost of austerity. Read it, get angry and get active." Josie Long, writer, activist and comedian

“Mary O'Hara has written a powerful and vivid account of the regressive and harmful impact of public spending cuts, which gives voice to those who are suffering. Read it and be angry. Pass it on. Send a copy to your MP. To echo one of her interviewees: those in power need to listen.” Professor the Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett

About the book

Voted one of the Guardian best books of 2014 by Owen Jones. After coming to power in May 2010, the Coalition government in the United Kingdom embarked on a drastic programme of cuts to public spending and introduced a raft of austerity measures that had profoundly damaging effects on much of the population. This bestselling book by award-winning journalist Mary O’Hara chronicles the true impact of austerity on people at the sharp end, based on her ‘real-time’ 12-month journey around the country just as the most radical reforms were being rolled out in 2012 and 2013. Drawing on hundreds of hours of compelling first-person interviews, with a broad spectrum of people ranging from homeless teenagers, older job-seekers, pensioners, charity workers, employment advisers and youth workers, as well as an extensive body of research and reports, the book explores the grim reality of living under the biggest shakeup of the welfare state in 60 years. with a new Foreword by Mark Blyth, Professor of International Political economy and International Studies at Brown University, USA, Austerity Bites dispels any notion that “we are all in this together” and offers an alternative to the dominant and simplistic narrative that we inhabit a country of “skivers versus strivers".

Content

Foreword by Mark Thomas;
Foreword by Mark Blyth;
Preface to the paperback edition;
Introduction;
Money’s too tight to mention;
The big squeeze;
Welcome to ‘Wongaland’;
Work maketh the person;
All work and no pay;
Bearing the brunt;
A life lived in fear is a life half lived;
Conclusion
Afterword to the paperback edition.
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