Collected Works of Paul Hunt: Edited with commentary by Luke Beesley

Luke Beesley (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored


Paul Hunt is often described, with good reason, as the founder of the disabled people’s movement in Britain. He was a critical voice in the disability campaigns of the 1960s, which were often driven by non-disabled people, and started the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS); probably the most influential organisation in disability politics in Britain.

Despite this, the vast majority of his writings were unavailable for decades. This collection brings together Hunt’s out of print, or previously unpublished, writings into a single collection – using material held in the Leonard Cheshire Rewind Archives, and the Judy and Paul Hunt Collection and Disabled People’s Archives at Manchester Central Library.

We are grateful to the Leonard Cheshire Archive Team, the Archive Steering Group at the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, and Peter Owens Publishers for allowing us to reproduce that material here. We are also grateful to the Archives+ team in Manchester for support with accessing Hunt’s writings.

We understand that readers will approach this collection for different reasons. Our main concern has been putting Hunt’s work in the context of his times: these were decades when disability became a public issue, and where the meanings and the politics of disablement were first seriously contested in
Britain. Unfortunately, this period has suffered the same fate as Hunt, and it is only recently that serious historical research has begun to investigate the birth of disability as a matter of public and government concern in the ‘60s and early ‘70s. A long introductory essay ties together Hunt’s biography, the changing landscape of disability campaigns and services, and the development of his ideas over the course of his life.

Other readers will be interested in the particular movements, campaigns, and organisations that Hunt was involved in. We have divided his writings into seven sections, each with a short introduction to put specific articles in their context. These sections are based on themes in Hunt’s work, and are roughly divided between the writings he did outside of UPIAS, and writings from within the organisation. The first two of these sections concern struggles between residents, staff, and managers in the Leonard Cheshire Foundation for the Sick in the first half of the 1960s. The third collects Hunt’s writings on institutions and deinstitutionalisation before UPIAS’s first conference. The fourth is all of Hunt’s columns from The Cheshire Smile – the quarterly magazine of the Cheshire Foundation –, and cover a wider variety of topics. The fifth section collects Hunt’s writings on the Disablement Income Group before resigning from the organisation. The final two sections concern Hunt’s work with UPIAS; section six contains Hunt’s writings in UPIAS between its founding in 1972 and 1977 – shortly after Fundamental Principles of Disability (the second of UPIAS’s two policy documents-cum-manifestos) was written. The final section is Hunt’s side of an argument with Vic Finkelstein over whether UPIAS should be wound-up after it had entered an organisational crisis. For the reader’s ease, the editorial introductions to each section are in a different print to the main texts.

The commentary on this collection provides detailed notes on people, organisations, or books and articles mentioned by Hunt in his writings. For ease of reading, this commentary is in endnotes at the end of the book.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
Number of pages424
ISBN (Electronic)9781913148188
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022


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