Harry's Last Stand

  • by Harry Leslie Smith
  • Narrated by Ric Jerrom
  • 6 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

"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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- John Adams


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.

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- Mary Hassan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 17-03-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios