1923

1923 To Say That Harry Smith Was Born Under An Unlucky Star Would Be An Understatement Born In England In 1923, Smith Chronicles The Tragic Story Of His Early Life In This First Volume Of His Memoirs He Presents His Family S Early History Their Misfortunes And Their Experiences Of Enduring Betrayal, Inhumane Poverty, Infidelity, And Abandonment 1923 A Memoir Presents The Story Of A Life Lyrically Described, Capturing A Time Both Before And During World War II When Personal Survival Was Dependent Upon Luck And Guile During This Time, Failure Insured Either A Trip To The Workhouse Or Burial In A Common Grave Brutally Honest, Smith S Story Plummets To The Depths Of Tragedy And Flies Up To The Summit Of Mirth And Wonder, Portraying Real People In An Uncompromising, Unflinching Voice 1923 A Memoir Tells Of A Time And Place When Life, Full Of Raw Emotion, Was Never So Real.

Harry Leslie Smith was a British survivor of the Great Depression, a Second World War RAF veteran and, in his 90s, an activist for the poor, for refugees and for the preservation of social democracy He wrote for numerous publications including The New Statesman, The Daily Mirror, The Tyee, International Business Times as well as the Guardian where his articles have been shared hundreds of thousan

➼ [Reading] ➾ 1923  By Harry Leslie Smith ➱ – Uc0.info
  • Kindle Edition
  • 1923
  • Harry Leslie Smith
  • 25 January 2019

10 thoughts on “1923

  1. says:

    I downloaded this book because I like history and because I ve run into the author on the forums on occasion and he s a lovely chap Despite the very British nature of this story it is published by an American publisher This means it has a few strange american quirks which jump out at you on that later Otherwise, the standard of presentation is good I spotted a couple of typos but nothing that would annoy me First I should say that I am really impressed by the writing It s lyrical and the voice of the character writer is strong I like that someone is attempting to write about the past the way it actually was with rose tinted specs kept firmly in the box It s an eye opener and it s a window on a world that was, harsh, unfair and which is thankfully gone, for the most part at least in this country It makes good points, too, that education is a privilege for starters something that s worth remembering in an era of degrees for all when I can imagine it s easy for kids to see it as of a chore The book is about a very hard life but the author never goes for competition hardship, so to speak So, if you are thinking of reading this book, then yes, I would recommend it There is no doubt it s good However I would be lying if I said I was enjoying it My relationship is definitely love hate and I m not sure if I will be able to finish it It s interesting, compelling and as I ve said, the standard of the writing is excellent and I find myself sympathising with the central character as it progresses and it was worth perservering.However, the Americanisms grate Normally they don t but normally I m reading American books by American authors I found it strange to find someone, in a British autobiography, speaking in the vernacular of another country about mine So for example at one point he told his sister he was pissed in the sense that he was annoyed rather than drunk I m 43 and I ve yet to hear that done by one of my fellow countrymen It also feels strange when a Yorkshireman talking about his pants turns out to be referring to his actual trousers rather than the things underneath Other odd stuff his mother went into labor and of course she was his Mom and not his Mum All of that felt totally weird In the book s credit that is an indication of how well the writer puts the Britishness and Yorkshireness of his personality across I just wish there was a UK spelled UK version because while I don t usually notice the US UK gap it does seem to matter here Finally, there was a description of Epping Forest and Chigwell as being in Sussex I m from Sussex and I promise you, they re not there They re in Essex edited Jan 2012 to add this has been corrected in the latest edition The narrator is very harsh in some places especially about his Mum although I completely understood his attitude although I found I could sympathise with her, too, even if I could not like her very much I did share the author s sense of social injustice at the position his family ended up in and the hardships they had to go through The book is very amusing in parts and all of the opinions expressed are honest and forthright Forthright is great but it is a two edged sword I liked it mostly but there were a couple of sweeping generalisations about the south which had me scratching my head a bit Then again, I suppose, for the last several hundred years, when people have made money, they ve moved nearer to London and the City and yes, I appreciate that in Sussex, at least, while we ve been blessed with some we ve been lumbered with a good many others So all in all recommended but it loses a couple of stars for the bits where the Americanisms grate and because, for me, it didn t quite connect I would definitely have a look at books by this author though.

  2. says:

    Essential reading to understand 20th century Britain.

  3. says:

    This was a Goodreads First Reader free book Sadly, I had written out a review and it s kinda disappeared sooooo here we go again I loved this book, the stark reality of poverty in the 20 and beyond was brought to life by real and honest portrayals of how an adult looking back sees his parents The struggle of day to day life and the whispers and history that wove into how they found themselves barely eking out an existence was just a raw and pure look back at how life could be, and was The soft lifting out of the extreme s as they grew up and reached for their escapes simply drew me in and I have since reread it just to watch them grow out of that hard scrabble beginning I look forward to the second installment.

  4. says:

    This is my favourite genre of book so I was really pleased when this one was chosen for our read of the month in our book club It took me a little while to get into it but once I had I found it really interesting The brutally honest account of Harry s life being brought up in poverty and deprivation was hard to read in places, extremely poignant and inspiring I have thought about events in the book since I finished reading it and am looking forward to reading the next one.

  5. says:

    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 When he talks about corresponding with Mary after he s enlisted with the RAF, you can feel the hurt in his words as he knows they ve drifted apart.Harry s keen wit and way with words make for an spell binding rollercoaster ride of emotions from the lowest of low to the highest of high He doesn t pull any punches and is brutally honest when reliving his experiences.1923 A Memoir is available in Hardcover for 19.22 CDN and Paperback for 15.30 CDN from .ca in Hardcover for 24.28 US, Paperback for 16.46 US and for the Kindle for 1.19 US from and through .co.uk in Hardcover for 20.94, Paperback for 13.66 and for the Kindle for 0.83.There are two chapters forthcoming in this series 1947 A Place For The Heart To Kip and the final book, tentatively entitled 1953 Empress of Australia.After reading his first, I ll definitely be purchasing the next two.

  6. says:

    my review from a great memoir is a delicate matter When relying so heavily on personal recollection, it is easy to mire the story in detail and bring the focus down to street level The mark of a great memoir is to bring the sense of elevation, especially when the story told is one of sweeping historic events that framed one life The selection of details and the areas of focus are the most important elements in the telling of a life, and these elements are also the most difficult portray effectively while still allowing freedom of imagination Harry Leslie Smith s elegiac and moving memoir, 1923 A Memoir Lies and Testaments, is a sweeping narrative with startlingly accurate characterizations and dialogue The reader is elevated to the best vantage point, and a new dimension is created to witness the writer s life in its fullest scope.Mr Smith s life is told in this memoir from his birth in Bradford, England in 1923 until the end of the war in 1945 Born to a family of rapidly declining fortunes that lead to extreme poverty, Mr Smith tells his tale of survival during a time of social upheaval and strife caused by the First World War At times, his life story becomes almost unbearably grim, but it is mercifully buoyed by Mr Smith s deftness at keeping the momentum of the story at pace The heartbreaking, steady parade of misfortunes that befall the author and his sister are hard to read, but never does the story become sentimental or maudlin Dickensian in its description of daily survival, his tale is one of personal loyalties and sheer determination against great odds.The story continues to follow the author from his childhood through his early career, and on to his enlistment in the Royal Air Force Again, in the recollections of his service in England and then of his time in occupied Germany, the story avoids clich by remaining true to the events recalled, in addition to the personal feelings associated with those events Throughout the second half of the book, I felt that the acceleration of events happening at the close of the war perfectly mirrored the fast pace of Mr Smith s life as another chapter of his life came to an end My only complaint is that I wished that he had continued on to include his post war life story as well This is a book that succeeds in two ways with ease, both as a personal memoir of a life lived in a volatile age and as a record of that age for all time.

  7. says:

    This review originally appeared on my book review blog Feeding My Book Addiction s coming of age memoir takes readers on a journey of poverty and heartbreak that is the author s childhood and young adulthood growing up between the first and second world wars Smith stays true to himself and his inner voice as he recounts the events of his early life The narrative flow develops and ages, if you will, as he does throughout the book It s incredibly powerful to see a precocious child harden under his circumstances and age into an adult set on escaping the ever looming workhouse and empty stomach that seemed to define his childhood This is one of those memoirs that will stay with you long after you finish reading it because of the author s ability to put his life onto the page without holding back or sugarcoating the details He digs deep into the infidelity of his mother, the shunning of his father, and the relationship he has with his sister that falls apart once they survived childhood and struck out on their own I heard the sounds of dishes shattering on the kitchen floor and felt the weight of Smith s mother as he and his sister dragged her drunken and limp body from the curb into the house after a night spent at the bar While reading, I did notice a few typographical and grammatical errors however, Smith s life story was so powerful that I registered the errors and kept right on reading Typically, typos, misspellings, and other grammatical mistakes jar me from the narrative and make me lose credibility in the author, but not in this case I kept on reading, immersed in Smith s poignant and heartbreaking life to see if and how he would overcome every obstacle imaginable for a child 1923 A Memoir is a compelling read that I would recommend to memoir and history lovers alike.

  8. says:

    In the first volume of Harry Leslie Smith s memoir, we learn a first account about what it was like growing up in Yorkshire, England in the 1920 s and 1930 s Born into poverty and the depression after the First World War in 1923, Harry does not get the best start in life Harry and his father become distant and Harry takes his first job at only eight years old to help support the family Not only is the family so deep in poverty but Harry is also starved of love and affection from his mother and neglected Abandoned by his father Harry only companion is his older sister Mary, they dream of escaping their terrible lifestyle and for a better life.The second part of the memoir Harry tells us about life in the RAF and about World War II Joining the RAF takes Harry away from Yorkshire and he shares his experiences about life at war and his life in the RAF From Barnsley, Bradford and Halifax to Hamburg this is a fascinating memoir It is an honest account of what life was like for Harry If like me you are interested in social history then this book is an interesting read The book covers from Harry s birth to him becoming a young man serving with the RAF The book ends with you wanting to know what happens next and I can t wait to read the next volume to find out what does happen next, and that hopefully things improve from the tragic life Harry has had so far.

  9. says:

    It is always interesting to see eras, such as World War II, through the eyes of one single individual This is a well written memoir that follows the author s life through his difficult childhood in the Great Depression, showing how his mother slowly began to give up her ideals to put food on the table for her children, while Harry turned to library books for solace.The writing is simple and to the point, making the events the most important aspect Sometimes turning brutally stark, the writing tears away until the truth of those years shines through There are not many books out there that show the life of a pilot during those years, and I was surprised at how moving many of the sections were There was no real dull moment in the book s entirety, which is something to compliment the author about Writing a memoir is not an easy matter, there is always the danger of maudlin scenes or descriptive minutia that might mean a lot for the author but not for the reader, so this is one of those books that should be read, not only for the incredible life resting in its pages, but for the skill with which it was handled I can easily recommend it to lovers of memoirs and of history.

  10. says:

    This book was a goodreads.com first read contest win.While reading memoirs is not really my thing I really did like this book The author give s insight to something a younger person does not know anything about Just thinking that my parents and or grandparents had to go though something like this makes me love and respect them .The author talks about how he lived through a depression and WWII One or the other is important in its self but to go through both is something amazing There are so few people willing to talk let alone write a book about events and happens during this tragic time The author portrays the events like they happened yesterday.While I enjoyed this book someone else might not like it Please remember that the events in this book are events that actually happened and not just something that the author made up This is a good read for the current generation to help them understand what grandparents and even great grandparents suffered and went through with out cellphones, internet and sometimes even the basic items to get through everyday life.the bunnies and I give this book 4 Carrots.

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