Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Harry's Last Stand: How the World My Generation Built is Falling Down, and What We Can Do to Save It Paperback – October 7, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
'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 * '[With] sheer emotional power ... Harry Leslie Smith reminds us what society without good public services actually looks and feels like.' -- Melissa Benn * New Statesman * '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 * 'A moving first-person account from 91-year-old Harry Leslie Smith of growing up before the creation of the welfare state and NHS. Making a simple, emotive case for progressive politics, Smith was the star turn at this year's Labour party conference.' * Guardian [Best Political Books of 2014] * 'Harry Leslie Smith is absolutely one of my heroes. Everyone should read this and be humbled.' -- Annie Lennox `It is not enough to read Harry's record of the struggles and hopes of a generation - we have to re-assert his principles of common ownership and the welfare state. If Harry can do it, we should too!' -- Ken Loach 'I read Harry's Last Stand in a single sitting. Labour should read to get fire in bellies. Tories should read in shame.' -- Alastair Campbell 'Seek this one out. If it doesn't make you angry there's something wrong with you. It's inspirational stuff.' -- Rick O'Shea Shortlisted for 'Polemic of the Year' - Paddy Power Political Book Awards 2015
About the Author
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 80,000 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.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Harry points out that if we don't learn from the lessons of the past, then we will repeat the mistakes of History.
Harry Smith (in his 90's) has lived through the depression, he knows what real poverty is like, and yet the policies of Thatcher, Cameron, Abbott (in Australia), and Harper (in Canada), all essentially blame the poor for the economic problems, at a time when the divide between the rich and the poor is getting much greater.
So refreshing to read a clever, insightful book that we must take notice of.
Harry has been a keen observer of society in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the U.S. for some 80 years, and is now in his 90s! Part of his book is more memoir, but a very valuable and interesting read.
I think this is a book which everyone should read! Thank you Harry!
For someone with precious little education, he is remarkably well versed in history, politics, sociology, pop culture and social media. He knows exactly what’s going on and going down, and seems totally comfortable handling the issues of the day.
The entire book is based on this premise: “After it was done and the war won, the politicians promised us that no one in this country would face that type of unemployment and helplessness ever again. So I really don’t know why the Western world wants to go back to those bleak, unhappy times without a murmur of real dissent.” He piles on the evidence of the shrinking of programs, the rise in living costs, the disappearance of opportunity and of hope. Expensive schools, expensive healthcare, and massive subsidies to business are the wrong way to build a country, except for the rich, who get richer from it. He is very clear that austerity is the wrong solution to a bad situation. Just as it was in the Depression.
Smith writes with precision and clarity, dancing between the present and his own past with ease. It gives the book a needed lift and makes it a fast-paced read. His obviously left-leaning insights are not new, but his fears are different from the usual political dross. His views are not dimmed by age. Neither is his grasp of the issues. He sees things much more clearly than most of our elected officials. He has perspective from direct experience. And having lived most of his life in Yorkshire and Toronto, is frustratingly familiar with all our governments’ failures.
He would like to see more participatory democracy, more restrictions on the ultra rich and their corporations, more of the common man in government, and most of all, a welfare state (safety net in the USA) that made such a gigantic difference to life in the UK after the war. Margaret Thatcher disassembled much of it in the UK, as Ronald Reagan did in the USA. The result is corporations running the world, increasing debt everywhere but corporate bank accounts, and struggles reminiscent of the Depression. He has been witness to the greatest transfer of wealth in history, from tax dollars to corporate coffers. For him, we are coming full circle in just his lifetime, and that is nothing to be proud of.