This biography of Benito Mussolini describes his upbringing in the violent society of nineteenth-century Italy and the revolutionary traditions of Italian Socialism; his suspension from school for attacking other boys with knives; his imprisonment in Switzerland as an Anarchist tramp. He had numerous love affairs, and developed into a brilliant orator and journalist. He founded the Fascist Party, and ordered his squads to burn down the party offices of the Communists and Socialists during four years of virtual civil war. Becoming Prime Minister and dictator after the March on Rome, he showed his true colors as an empire-builder and eventually a racist and persecutor of the Jews. Mussolini was not the ridiculous buffoon that he is often depicted, but a very able politician who knew how to ride two horses at the same time, and while inculcating into the Italians the glories of war, cooperated peacefully with foreign governments.