Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism - Stephen Dorril

A frighteningly detailed biography of Britain's most infamous fascist.

Book Review by Helen Grey | 15 Jul 2006
Blackshirt' follows the life of Sir Oswald Mosley - Member of Parliament, Baronet, and founder of the British Union of Fascists - from his birth to his death, and details what seems like every encounter, decision and extra-marital affair the man had. There is no doubt that Dorril really knows his stuff. The book describes the direct influence that Mussolini and Hitler had on Mosley's decisions and reveals how close Britain came to having a powerful anti-Semitic political party. But he writes with the frustrating assumption that his reader is as familiar with the material as he is. The book is in desperate need of a family tree to visually document the relationships between the hundreds of figures mentioned. Dorril's referencing system is also poor, making it extremely difficult to figure out where all Dorril's information has come from. Recommended as a textbook on British political history, but if it's an introduction to the area you're after I'd give it a miss. [Helen Grey]
Published by Penguin. Out Now. Cover price £30.