Harry's Last Stand: How the World My Generation Built is Falling Down, and What We Can Do to Save itHardback
- Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
- Format: Hardback | 224 pages
- Dimensions: 136mm x 212mm x 30mm | 220g
- Publication date: 15 December 2015
- Publication City/Country: Duxford
- ISBN 10: 1848317263
- ISBN 13: 9781848317260
- Edition statement: New ed.
- Sales rank: 55,669
'As one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War, I will not go gently into that good night. I want to tell you what the world looks like through my eyes, so that you can help change it...' In November 2013, 91-year-old Yorkshireman, RAF veteran and ex-carpet salesman Harry Leslie Smith's Guardian article - 'This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time' - was shared almost 60,000 times on Facebook and started a huge debate about the state of society. Now he brings his unique perspective to bear on NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food poverty, the cost of education - and much more. From the deprivation of 1930s Barnsley and the terror of war to the creation of our welfare state, Harry has experienced how a great civilisation can rise from the rubble. But at the end of his life, he fears how easily it is being eroded. Harry's Last Stand is a lyrical, searing modern invective that shows what the past can teach us, and how the future is ours for the taking.
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Harry Leslie Smith is a survivor of the Great Depression, a second world war RAF veteran and, at 91, an activist for the poor and for the preservation of social democracy. His Guardian articles have been shared over 60,000 times on Facebook and have attracted huge comment and debate. He has authored numerous books about Britain during the Great Depression, the second world war and postwar austerity. He lives outside Toronto, Canada and in Yorkshire.
'A kind of epic poem, one that moves in circular fashion from passionate denunciation to intense autobiographical reflection ... 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 'Smith's unwavering will to turn things around makes for inspirational reading.' Big Issue North 'Mr Smith's is a rousing, earthy writing that's part Tony Harrison, part Dennis Skinner' NudgeMeNow.com 'This hymn of wrath against the toxic nexus of money and power in austerity UK from a Bradford pauper's son, excommunicated from the Catholic church for marrying an "enemy" woman in post-war Germany, is a compelling life-verdict.' Paul Routledge, The Tablet 'Harry's Last Stand is fast becoming a well-deserved publishing phenomenon. It is a breathtaking argument, brilliantly delivered, who said only the new generation have the capacity to make a difference?' -- Mark Perryman Left Futures