Portrait of a Leader is a unique biography of Sir Oswald Mosley: the Leader of the British Union of Fascists. Unlike subsequent biographies published years after the events, this book was written in 1937 at the height of Mosley’s struggle to redistribute the wealth of British Empire among all its people, and to stop the drift towards world war.
Written by A. K. Chesterton, a cousin of the distinguished British author G. K. Chesterton, it is an undeniable hagiography by a man who was not only British Union’s Director of Publicity and Propaganda but the editor of The Blackshirt: one of the Movement’s hard-hitting weekly newspapers.
Chesterton deals with criticisms made against Mosley at the time, including those from his own father, and demolishes them with the sardonic wit that was his style and trademark. The book also captures the infectious idealism of the early Blackshirts determined to create a form of twentieth century government better able to serve the British people and rescue them from hunger, unemployment and bad housing.
After the Second World War, in which Chesterton fought with the British Army in north Africa, he founded the League of Empire Loyalists and later the National Front.
Portrait of a Leader offers a rare insight into one of the most dynamic politicians in modern European history written by one of its most perceptive writers.