A historical study of Ezra Pound's anti-semitism / by Ellen Elaine Cardona.
The dissertation argues that Pound's anti-Semitism was caused by his hatred for usurers, whom he believed to be mainly Jews. This belief fed his anti-Semitism during World War II and led to his infamous radio broadcasts. Even though Pound was aware of the atrocities of the Holocaust during his confinement at St. Elizabeths [sic] Hospital after World War II, he remained adamant that specific Jews were the enemy in what, he believed, was an ongoing war against usury. Chapter One, “Pound's Early Years, 1885–1925” argues that Pound's anti-Semitism began as a result of the stereotypes that he learned, and it is these prejudices that he carried to Europe. Chapter One also examines the influence of A. R. Orage and C. H. Douglas on Pound's view of economics, which he will intertwine with anti-Semitism in the 1940s. Chapter Two, “Pound in Italy, 1925–1939,” shows the progression of Pound's anti-Semitism from a “suburban prejudice” based on racial stereotypes to a belief similar to that stated in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, i.e. a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. What triggered Pound's belief in this conspiracy was not one single factor but a variety of factors that led his anti-Semitism into a gradual descent towards conspiracy. In Chapter Three, “World War II and Pound, 1940–1945,” Pound blames certain Jews for their role in usury that, he believed, started World War II. The chapter reveals how the anti-Semitism found in Pound's articles published during this time and in Pound's broadcasts is tied together with his understanding of the history of the American banking system. The main focus of Chapter Four, “Pound's Anti-Semitism at St. Elizabeths, 1945–1958,” examines Pound's anti-Semitism during these years through newsletters, which are currently at Hamilton College, and correspondence housed at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The dissertation ends in an Epilogue that shows a man haunted by depression and silence.
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