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1923: A Memoir: Lies and Testaments Paperback – Nov 2010


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1923: A Memoir: Lies and Testaments + Harry's Last Stand: How the world my generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Iuniverse Inc (November 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450254136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450254137
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,285,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Harry Leslie Smith is a survivor of the Great Depression, a second world war RAF veteran and, at 90, 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. Harry Leslie Smith books are represented by Greene & Heaton. His latest book "Harry's Last Stand" is published by Icon and available for sale in June 2014 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ncpulla on Jan. 22 2011
Format: Paperback
As a young mother,after reading 1923: A memoir, I think what stuck with me most was how intense poverty and hopelessness will gradually destroys a mother's ability to nurture or protect her children. It is chilling to think that this account of a family ruined by the Great Depression only occurred in the 1920's and 30's. Harry Leslie Smith's portrayal of life in an economically ravage landscape is so compelling it feels current. The characters' in his autobiography are long dead but Harry Leslie Smith makes them come alive and I felt every bit of their pain and their small triumphs.
This is an outstanding book which is both funny and sad. Harry Leslie Smith also does a fantastic job at justly laying the blame for the destruction of his family and millions of other's in 1930's: corporations who placed profits above people and governments who think their constituency is only the super wealthy. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a page turning read which can shock, amuse and enthral us with real people, living real lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ncpulla on March 24 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a young mother,after reading 1923: A memoir, I think what stuck with me most was how intense physical, poverty and hopelessness will gradually destroys a mother's ability to nurture or protect her children. It is chilling to think that this account of a family ruined by the Great Depression only occurred in the 1920's and 30's. Harry Leslie Smith's portrayal of life in an economically ravage landscape is so compelling it feels current. The characters' in his autobiography are long dead but Harry Leslie Smith makes them come alive and I felt every bit of their pain and their small triumphs.
This is an outstanding book which is both funny and sad. Harry Leslie Smith also does a fantastic job at justly laying the blame for the destruction of his family and millions of other's in 1930's: corporations who placed profits above people and governments who think their constituency is only the super wealthy. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a page turning read which can shock, amuse and enthral us with real people, living real lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kibe83 on March 31 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is a thoughtful and honest portrait of childhood in Britain in the 1930's; if one comes from the wrong side of the tracks. I was hooked by the very first page because Harry Leslie Smith's easy flowing narrative introduced characters and situations which are haunting, humorous and all too real. I highly recommend this book for anyone that likes a story of adventure, hardship with a dose of humour. It is a great read. I hope this author writes another book about his life because I am now very curious as to how everything turns out for him and his family
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Format: Paperback
Having never read a memoir, I wasn't sure what to expect. But from the moment I got involved with loveahappyending.com and selected my authors, I knew I would be a fan of the genre ' at least this particular author's account of his early years.

Just from the brief blurbs on the loveahappyending.com/harry-leslie-smith/ author page, there was a parallel resonance between Harry's life and my father's, although comparing the two, my father's life wasn't nearly so tragic and poverty-stricken. In their later years, they both fought in Europe during WWII.

It must have been extremely painful for Harry to be able to put his childhood on paper for all to see yet cathartic at the same time.

It's hard to imagine the type of childhood Harry experienced in 1920s and 1930s England. In that period, people did what that had to in order to survive, including digging through trash and stealing from others to obtain something to eat. His account of his father's years of working in the mines until he could no longer work below ground to being pensioned off and shamed out of the family home because of the actions of his mother, who only did what she had to in order to ensure their survival (such as it was).

Even Harry's mates and later his RAF comrades had no idea what he had been through as a child, ***spoiler here*** although I suspected it would tumble out when he pulled his rifle on a fellow serviceman. ***end spoiler***. Harry had invented a happy reasonaby normal family life for himself.

Harry is quick to credit his older sister, Mary, for his survival. When she finally leaves home, he's devastated. They remain close but it's not the same.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very moving and well written book - shows how poor people are abused.
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