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June 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
In November last year, Harry Leslie Smith wrote a piece for the Guardian called “This Year, I will wear a poppy for the last time”, as a 91 year old ex-RAF man this was a very strong statement, the article went on to Facebook and caused a great deal of comment. Now in Harry’s Last Stand he considers everything we are in danger of losing owing to the current political dogma. Harry Leslie Smith can well remember a life before the NHS, equal Education for all, Trade Unions and worker’s rights. Now he sees everything he fought for going or gone, students weighed down by debt, workers rights diluted, the NHS being broken up and above all the widening of the gap between the haves and the have-not with the have-nots demonised and used as a political football. He clearly and powerfully articulates the ills of society and the failure of government to create a more equal society. From his own experience he knows that we are being returned to a way of living that didn’t work then and won’t work now.
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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. 'The sepia tone of November' he argued 'has become blood-soaked with paper poppies festooning the lapels of our politicians, newsreaders and business leaders ...I will no longer allow my obligation as a veteran to remember those who died in the great wars to be co-opted by current or former politicians to justify our folly in Iraq, our morally dubious war on terror and our elimination of one's right to privacy.' Harry's Last Stand brings his unique perspective to bear on NHS cutbacks, political corruption, food poverty, the lack of dignity in old age - and much more. As someone who lived through the depression of the 1930s, the terror of the Second World War and the post-1945 consensus, Harry here presents a lyrical, searing modern invective that shows what the past can teach us, and how the future is ours for the taking.
Here, 91-year-old RAF veteran Harry Leslie Smith outlines his views on subjects ranging from poverty and NHS cuts, to the lack of dignity with which the elderly are treated. As someone who grew up amidst the poverty of Depression-era Yorkshire and witnessed the horrors of the Second World War, his worry is that we are failing to learn from the past. He approaches each topic from a partisan left-wing perspective, with mixed results. At its best, the book shines a harsh spotlight on undeniable injustices on the part of employers, corporations and politicians, both past and present. However, Harry’s heartfelt, thought-provoking polemic is sure to divide opinion.
Publication date: 02/10/2014
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
|Publication date:||2nd October 2014|
|Author:||Harry Leslie Smith|
|Publisher:||Icon Books Ltd|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, History, The Real World,|
|Categories:||Diaries, letters & journals, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Society & culture: general,|
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. Photo courtesy of Dylan Reibling Watch Harry's Youtube Video at : Click hereMore About Harry Leslie Smith