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Harry's Last Stand

How the World My Generation Built Is Falling Down, and What We Can Do to Save It
Narrated by: Ric Jerrom
Length: 6 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Politics
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

Non-member price: $22.78

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Publisher's Summary

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 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.

©2014 Harry Leslie Smith (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars

A moving story, brilliantly read

The narrator for the audiobook is extremely talented. The book itself is a rant at some points but this does not change my score of 5 stars.

I was moved by sections of the biography and came to accept the authors overall logic.

Enjoy.

M

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  • Lori
  • 27-11-2018

BRILLIANT

Unbelievably enjoyable! Held my attention ALL the way through! I read it because I'm following Harry's current health crisis, and wishing him good health and some more years of activism 💚 He's a brilliant and REAL man.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-02-2018

a whole new level of awesome

Fantastic story from a real hero who knows what it is like to struggle. Should be mandatory reading/listening for every one on the planet.

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  • G. Hall
  • 24-05-2015

Society today and past

provides a very good understanding of todays socal problems and how we can change them.

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  • John Adams
  • 02-05-2015

Harry's last stand

This book should be required reading in schools and colleges. There soon will not be anyone left who remembers Great Britain before the welfare state and the NHS and can warn of the consequences if we allow it to be swept away. Heaven forbid their sacrifice and efforts should be destroyed for the dogma of austerity and privatisation.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Hassan
  • 20-03-2015

Brilliant

Would you listen to Harry's Last Stand again? Why?

I could listen to this a hundred times.

What did you like best about this story?

It was so personal and the intimate details of his life gave context to the opinions he was expressing. The emotional element made the information really stick. I'd love to know Harry.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jason
  • 15-04-2015

Fantastic, insightful, inspiring!

I am so glad I discovered this book. Such a privilege to be able to benefit from Harry's wisdom and experience! For a unique perspective of society from one of the last remaining members of that bygone generation, this is a must read!

5 people found this helpful

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  • liverbird
  • 02-04-2015

A truly exceptional man I was lucky to meet

Harry is an inspiration I met him at a labour conference his book was like listening to him all over again
I am so glad I've listened

2 people found this helpful

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  • Red Kitty
  • 17-05-2015

A remarkable book

I throughly enjoyed this book. Such a remarkable insight into not only today's society but also that of previous generations. Harry tell us his story and gives us his opinions with honesty and integrity and never once is he derogatory. He has many lessons we can learn as a society, just hope that we listen and take notice.
Would highly recommend this book to anyone. I also intend to get a copy for my teenage daughter to read as well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • nought
  • 04-12-2019

Memories

Very much a well written and remembered life
Extremely poignant, also so very sad as he tells
Us our society is slipping backwards and has not
Learnt the lessons of history, very much enjoyed
And should be read and studied by all. The narration
Was wonderful and very well read

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  • CC
  • 29-11-2019

Excellent ....and food for thought.

Loved this book, and I believe this should be read in all schools. Harry Smith and his like are few and getting fewer. His memories are very valuable lessons for us all. The narration is wonderful too, there was such empathy and emotion in his voice I felt I was listening to Harry himself. Soon we will forget this part of our political, social and cultural heritage and will be doomed to make the same mistakes. Harry talks a lot of sense. (I will be reading Harry's next book; "Don't let my past become your future" straight away. I can't wait to hear his next peals of wisdom. RIP Harry)

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  • Gothamcity56
  • 23-09-2019

This should be required reading in schools

Pinpoints exactly , what we as a society are blindly walking into. Warm and heartbreaking in equal measure

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  • NICK DE SOUZA
  • 04-03-2019

A heartbreaking yet warm tale of foreboding

The book is at its best when Harry recounts the painful memories of childhood, one that was scarred by unforgivable austerity imposed upon the working class to pay for the speculation of the elites. The cautionary message is made abundantly clear throughout this wonderful book - austerity didn’t work then and it hasn’t worked now.

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  • gary castle
  • 01-02-2019

inspiring

along with the ragged trousered philanthropists this is a must read for those who want to see a fairer society for all. he may be gone but Harry's words and spirit will live on