'I am not an historian, but, at 91, I am history. This is how I see the world, and what I think we can do to 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.
'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 national health service 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.
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.
Biography & Autobiography