Ellen Cardona

Pound in Italy, 1924-1939:
The Progression of Pound's Anti-Semitism

They have brought whores for Eleusis
Corpses are to banquet
at behest of usura. [1]  

     This essay shows the progression of Pound’s anti-Semitism from a “suburban prejudice” based on stereotypes to a belief exemplified by the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which involved a Jewish conspiracy to take over banking systems, governments, and the press. What triggered Pound’s belief in this plot was not a single factor but a variety of causes that led his anti-Semitism into a gradual descent. The essay begins with the dates 1924 through 1932 and traces Pound’s anti-Semitism during this time: an anti-Semitism based, however, on typical stereotypes that one saw during these years in London and Paris. What is interesting about this time period is the terminology Pound uses to describe his anger towards different topics other than Jews; Pound will use these exact phrases during World War II and after to describe his anger against the Jews. The next section covers the years 1933 and 1934, where Pound’s belief in a Jewish conspiracy takes shape. During these years, Pound met Mussolini, who he believed would carry out Social Credit reform in Italy, and also discovered another means of monetary reform through a mechanism called stamp scrip. But also during this time frame, as Leon Surette has shown, Pound read an essay by William Pelley proposing a Jewish conspiracy, which pushed him over the edge. The last section of this essay encompasses the years 1935-1939, which mark a progression of Pound’s belief in a Jewish conspiracy linked to usury: he begins in his published works to equate Jews with usury. By the beginning of World War II, Pound believed Jews had infiltrated and were taking control of banks, governments, and the press.

      There was indeed anti-Semitism in Italy; but in a different manner than the anti-Semitism in England and America. According to Dan Segre, in his essay “The Emancipation of Jews in Italy:" “[I]n the period between 1830 and 1870, corresponding with that of the Risorgimento (the Italian national revival), the emancipation process assumed political, psychological, economic, and cultural characteristics unique in the contemporary history of European Jewry. As a result, the Italian Jewish community, despite its small size, developed a group consciousness, a feeling of security and an (incorrect) image of itself that later had important consequences.”[2]   According to Segre's statistics, the number of Jews in nineteenth century Italy was indeed much smaller than the Jewish population in America and England: “Since the middle of the nineteenth century the Jews in Italy have represented one-thousandth of the total population. One-third lived in thirty-eight communities in the areas of Mantua, Veneto, Emilia, and Romagna. On the west of the peninsula, in Piedmont, 16.7 percent of the Jews lived in nineteen small communities. In the east, in Venezia-Giulia, 9 percent lived in five communities, of which Trieste was the largest. Another 19.7 percent lived in Tuscany, with Leghorn as the main community. Finally, some three thousand lived in Rome.”[3]   Segre notes that Trieste was an important port in the Austrian Empire “and an embarkation point for tens of thousands of eastern European Jews.”[4]   Yet Italy did not experience the same mass of immigrants from Eastern Europe that flooded America and England. Segre points out that “[s]ome of the possible reason why eastern European Jews did not enter Italy in spite of the existence of flourishing Jewish communities . . . are the Italian language, which was an unfamiliar to the Ostjuden as Yiddish was to the Italian Jews . . . [and] the late industrialization of Italy . . . .”[5]  

      Anti-Semitism did exist nonetheless. After World War I, according to Meir Michaelis’s Mussolini and the Jews: German-Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy 1922-1945, Mussolini directed anti-Semitic remarks against Bolshevism and Zionism. In a speech on March 16, 1919, for example, he said that Lenin’s regime was not “‘German-Jewish’, but Jewish pure and simple.” In another speech on June 4th of that same year, he said that Bolshevism was a “a worldwide Jewish conspiracy against the Aryan race” and accused the big bankers of London and New York, such as Rothschild and Guggenheim, of being in league with the Bolsheviks.[6]   Mussolini also saw international Jewry as a threat “which he identified with all the forces against which Fascism had risen in revolt—liberalism and democracy, Socialism, Bolshevism, and Freemasonry.”[7]   Also contributing to an undercurrent of anti-Semitism was the Zionist question regarding Palestine. In a speech on October of 1920, Mussolini said that anti-Semitism was a concept alien to the Italians, and the Italian Jews did not need a homeland in Palestine because their Zion was in Italy.[8]   But Italians in general, according to Michaelis, did not think that Italian Jews had anything to do with Bolshevism and even Zionism. “Only a small minority of the Italian Jews were Zionists. And although both ‘Jewish Bolshevism’ and ‘Jewish high finance’ had been the object of attack in the Fascist press from time to time, very few Italians associated the Italian Jewish community with either of these phenomena . . . .”[9]  

      In the years 1924 through 1932, Pound wrote literary critiques, supported Douglas’s theories, and continued his cantos. He contributed to numerous journals during this time, such as New Masses, Dial, Poetry, and the New Review. He also started his own journal, The Exile, in 1927 and wrote for the literary periodical L’Indice from 1930 through 1931. In 1932, he began writing for the New English Weekly, a journal founded by A. R. Orage. As far as Pound’s anti-Semitism was concerned, there were only two remarks that could be judged anti-Semitic and both occurred in 1928. The first appeared in “Canto XXII,” published in the Dial in February of 1928. The comment refers to a Jewish guide, Yusuf Benamore, whom Pound had met in Gibraltar in 1908.[10]   Yusuf takes Pound to a Jewish ceremony, and the description of the religious service, which also includes the rabbi and the elders sharing a snuffbox with Pound, is not anti-Semitic; however, after the passage, there is an anti-Semitic remark about Yusuf:

An’ the nigger in the red fez, Mustafa, on the boat later
An’ I said to him: Yusuf, Yusuf’s a damn good feller.
And he says:
                         “Yais, he ees a goot fello,
“But after all a chew
                                     ees a chew.” [11]  

Although the comment is in fact made by someone else, Pound chose to include it in his canto.

     Pound’s message becomes clear cut, though, in his piece for the Exile that was published in the autumn issue of 1928:

by the Editor of Exile
             A FEW MORE

this means first rate jews, no second rate jews, no dancing Daniels . . . . [12]  

     After the advertisement, Pound writes that following poem:

I got dh’ chew view
dh’ odter day:
“If it’s AHT
             it pays its vay.”
If it’s aht, it pays it vay,
If it’s aht it . . .
“WVott brice dh’ Bssalms of TDavit ?! [13]  

     The poem is filled with anti-Semitic sentiments and insulting language that center around Jews and money.

      What is interesting about Pound’s writing during this time are the phrases he uses to vent his anger. Pound applies such terms as parasites, vermin, and syphilis in his anger at bureaucrats. In the essay, “The Damn Fool Bureaukrats,” which was published in the New Masses in June 1928, Pound complains about forms, especially passports, which the American government creates. He writes that the forms are “passed out over a desk by one set of imbeciles, and ‘filed for reference’ by another set of parasitic vermin, both sets being equally non-producers.”[14]   In the same essay, Pound writes: “it ought to be made quite clear that accumulation of functions by the bureaucracy is a disease, a pest that attacks any and every kind of state, socialist, capitalist, syndicalist state, as syphilis or any other disease attacks physical organism.”[15]   In another article for the New York Sun, published in 1932, Pound writes: “Certain vermin are as old as the practice of letters; other vermin date from the invention of periodicals, reviews, offices, still others have developed with ‘endowments.’ Bureaucracy is an age old disease . . . .”[16]   In another article written for the Exile in 1928, Pound also writes about the bureaucrats: “All officials in the State depart. ought to be vacuum cleaned.”[17]   In the same article he writes about congressmen: “All congressmen and others responsible for continuance of the passport and visa system ought to be flayed . . . .”[18]   Also, in an article for the New Review, published in 1931, Pound writes about bureaucrats: “In america particularly we see bipeds fashioned in external shape of men supporting laws so degraded and imbecile that no attribution of internal humanity can be made, nor could a charge of homicide justly lie against anyone who exterminated them in large quantities.”[19]   Pound begins a pattern in his writing during this time. First, he vents his anger against the bureaucrats, and then he will use the same angry tone in his writing towards the munitions makers in the early 1930s. He switches topics again and vents his anger towards the usurers in the mid and late 1930s, and then focus on Jewish conspiracy in his radio speeches and prose in the 1940s.

      The years 1933 and 1934 are important years in Pound’s formulation of his economic theories and his belief in a Jewish conspiracy. First, on the economic level, Pound’s meeting with Mussolini on January 30, 1933, was decisive for his support of Mussolini because Pound thought he could talk Mussolini into adopting Social Credit. Pound later claimed, in fact, that “one or another of Mussolini’s policies were Social Credit in spirit.”[20]   According to Carpenter, Pound was granted an interview with Mussolini on the grounds that he could help Mussolini’s image in the American press. But instead Pound “handed Mussolini a document that summed up what he believed to be the essentials of Social Credit in eighteen paragraphs.”[21]   Carpenter writes that the interview lasted about half an hour and “had no effect whatever on Mussolini’s economic policy, but Ezra felt that the dictator was thoroughly sympathetic to the objective if not methods of Social Credit.”[22]   Pound was so inspired by the meeting that he started Jefferson and/or Mussolini in February of that year.

      Jefferson and/or Mussolini compares the governing styles of Jefferson and Mussolini. What Pound saw in both men was a concern with order. “The poet is fascinated by Jefferson and Mussolini because they appear to him as men concerned with order, with new ways to envision society. He sees them . . . not as men primarily concerned with power, but as artists. . . . Mussolini willed the birth of an Italy cleansed of its swamps and mobilized to fight both the strangle-hold of its own decadent aristocracy and the corrupt activities of international usurers and munitions-makers. Jefferson willed the birth of a nation . . . .”[23]   Pound saw “fascism, particularly in its Italian manifestation, as the culmination of historical processes designed to bring an orderly society that would enable art and culture to prosper and flourish.”[24]   In Jefferson and/or Mussolini, Pound gives an example of how the Fascist state works in protecting the people from their own greed or stupidity. “Mussolini is NOT a fanatical statalist wanting the state to blow the citizen’s nose . . . IF, when and whenever the individual or the industry can and will attend to its own business, the fascist state WANTS the industry and the individual to DO it, and it is only in case of sheer idiocy, incapacity or simple greed and dog-in-the-mangerness that the state intervenes to protect the unorganized PEOPLE; public; you me and the other fellow.”[25]  

      Pound also writes about how Mussolini took control of the government and made it better. “The first act of the fascio was to save Italy from people too stupid to govern, I mean the Italian communists, the Lenin-less communists. The second act was to free it from parliamentarians, possibly worse . . . .”[26]   Pound is referring to how Mussolini was given power by the king, Victor Emmanuel III, as a result of the March on Rome in October of 1922. Fascist gangs soon harassed, assaulted, and even murdered members of leftist parties.[27]   In June 1924 Socialist deputy Giacomo Matteotti, who was Mussolini’s most outspoken critic, was killed, possibly at Mussolini’s instigation; in January 1925, Mussolini “suppressed parliamentary opposition parties and created an authoritarian government made up entirely of Fascists.”[28]   However, in Jefferson and/or Mussolini, Pound describes Mussolini as a man who does not thirst for power.[29]  

     Another statement shows Pound’s opinion of how Mussolini came to power: “DISTINGUISH between fascism which is organization, with the organizer at its head, to whom the power has not been GIVEN, but who has organized the power, and the state of America, where the Press howls that we should GIVE power to Roosevelt, i.e., to a weak man, or a man generally supposed to be weak, a man who has shown NO UNDERSTANDING whatsoever, and no knowledge whatsoever of contemporary actuality.”[30]   Technically, Mussolini was given power by the king, Victor Emmanuel III. Roger Griffin, in Fascism, provides a different view. “As a result of the ‘deal’ struck with the king, Victor Emmanuel III, for him to call off what amounted to a threatened putsch [the March on Rome of October 1922], Mussolini became at the same time the leader of the revolutionary paramilitary force and Prime Minister of a coalition operating within a parliamentary system.”[31]  

      In Jefferson and/or Mussolini, Pound also relates how he saw a line of Black Shirts and how people stood at attention and took off their hats in respect, except for “one stubborn foreigner, damned if he would stand up or show respect until he knew what they meant. Nobody hit me with a club and I didn’t see any oil bottles.”[32]  There is certainly not any evidence that Pound experienced any abuse in Italy or saw it; however, stories about enemies of the state, who were forced to drink castor oil, were known. In fact, in a speech to Parliament, dated Jan 3, 1925, (after which he suspended Parliament indefinitely), Mussolini makes a reference to castor oil: “If more or less garbled phrases are enough to hang a man, then out with the gallows and out with the rope! If Fascism has been nothing other than castor oil, and if it is not instead the superb passion of the best of Italian youth, it is my fault!”[33]   Pound saw what he wanted to see in Mussolini: one who would bring order into a society and, more importantly, one who would fight against those whom Pound believed to be the real cause of financial turmoil. “Pound considered that Mussolini, by his doctrine of the corporate state and his concern for the good of the whole . . . was capable of breaking the usurious hold which banks and financial capitalism had achieved over the modern liberal state.”[34]   For Pound, Mussolini would be the one to break the bankers, but one capable of having a hold over another enemy: the munitions makers.

      The topic of munitions makers first appeared in Pound’s published prose as early as 1932. In an article for the New English Weekly, Pound suggests that the men who supply weapons for a profit are one of the causes of war: “There are two causes of war . . . The first has been outlined by Major Douglas and his friends; it is the fight for markets. The second is the specific interests of the ineffable lice who want to make money by selling guns and munitions.” [35]   In “Canto XXXVIII,” which appeared in the New English Weekly in 1933, Pound writes about these suppliers and ends the canto with the following words:

`faire passer ces affaires
       avant ceux de la nation.’ [36]  
The quote refers to those who hold their own interest before that of the nation, and Pound is referring to those who create and sell weapons for a profit. Pound also claims in an essay published in November of 1933 for the journal Harkness Hoot that there was a conspiracy between weapon suppliers and countries involved in the Great War: “We know now that all the war powers helped their enemies continue the war, that every nation used material, gun sights, fuses, etc., produced by the enemies, and that this traffic went on through the war; that men were sent out in defective airplanes in order than individuals shd. make slightly larger profits, etc. We know that the war-causes were in a great part economic.”[37]  

     In Jefferson and/or Mussolini, the topic of “munitions makers” also appears. In the chapter entitled “Why Italy?” Pound answers the question with the first sentence: “Italy, for the very simple reason that after the great infamy there was no other clot of energy in Europe capable of opposing ANY FORCE WHATSOEVER to the infinite evil of the profiteers and the sellers of men’s blood for money.”[38]   He sees Italy as the only country that can stand against “munitions makers.” In Jefferson and/or Mussolini he links banks with those who manufacture and supply weapons: “the selling of guns and powder differs from ALL other industries in that the more you sell the greater the demand for the product. The more goes to consumer A the greater the demand of the other consumers. Hence the love, the loving and tender love of banks for munition works.”[39]   Pound’s anger towards “munitions makers” is a topic that will continue in his writings until the beginning of World War II.

      Pound also wrote about munitions makers to Senator William Borah, who represented Idaho. Pound corresponded with Borah from 1933-1939 and wanted him to be nominated by the Republican party for the 1936 presidential election. “Pound clearly hoped to be a king-maker of a sort, a gray eminence who would supply Borah with the savvy needed to beat FDR and successfully end the Great Depression while also keeping the United States out of a looming European war.” [40]   In a letter dated June 2, 1934, to Borah, Pound wrote the following about munitions makers:

      Vickers/ Thysson/ Mitsui/ Schneider/ Bank of France.
      An econ/ system that makes it more profitable to sell guns in the hope of mass murder, than to distribute food and clothing is shit over shit to eternity . . . .[41]  

     The Vickers family was co-owner of Vickers-Armstrong, one of Britain’s largest armament makers.[42]   Thysson supplied Germany with steel in both wars, and Schneider was a munitions company.[43]   The Japanese bank Mitsui supported the Taiping Company’s munitions sales to Russia.[44]   In fact, Pound believed that the Bank of France and the Bank of Mitsui were working together to supply weapons to Russia, as indicated in Pound’s January 15, 1934, letter to Borah: “Bank de France running Mitsui, to sell guns to Russia. etc. Sprague the cronies of those really putrid devils.”[45]   Also in a letter to Bora, dated July 7, 1934, Pound accuses both Bernard Baruch and Henry Morgenthau, Sr., of being weapon suppliers:

     Is Frankie run (oh well, I spose not WHOLLY) by jews? merely left another choosich dictator behind when he went sailin’.
     Baruch is acc/last printed report said to have boasted he controlled, oh hell, I have lost it but was about 230 out of 260 american gun firms, or more prob. was in Europe to sell that number back in 1915 or thereabouts, and some <Morgenthau> said to have had a lot of gun shares. German report and treatable with reserve, as I believe Morg/ ,<ole [sic] of ambas/ to Turkey> finally convinced Wilson (damn him) that Germany was a hostile party. [46]  
Henry Morgenthau, Sr. was a businessman, a powerful Democrat, and the ambassador to Turkey during the Wilson administration.[47]   Bernard Baruch was an American financier and an advisor to Roosevelt.[48]   This quotation is interesting because in his later writings, Pound will associate these men, who were Jewish, and Roosevelt not with munitions makers but with his next enemy: the Jews. There is much anger when Pound speaks of munitions makers, just as when he spoke about bureaucracy in the late 1920s. At this point in time in the early 1930s, Pound is focused on munitions makers as the enemy of society.

      The year 1933 also marks Pound’s introduction to Silvio Gesell’s theory of stamp scrip, which Pound saw as another means of monetary reform. Silvio Gesell attempted to use stamp scrip in April of 1919 when he was state minister of finance, though only for a few days, in Bavaria. According to Surette, “During the April 1919 Sparticist uprising when the Bavarian government was taken over by a socialist group, Gesell . . . was made state minister of finance. Though he immediately ordered the printing of stamp scrip, nothing came of it, for the revolutionary government was overthrown after only a few days in office. Gesell was arraigned on a charge of treason. He successfully managed his own defense and was acquitted.”[49]   For Pound, stamp scrip was a way to eliminate the banker:

     Gesell’s approach to economic problems was rooted in a conviction that putting an end to hoarding and speeding up the circulation of currency would solve all difficulties. A plan whereby stamps had to be bought and affixed to paper money at regular intervals would ensure that nobody would want to keep his currency with him for long; thus buying and the flow of economic transactions in general would be stimulated. The sale of stamps would be an additional source of revenue, and national debts would be eased. As a result, banks would have less opportunity to insinuate themselves into the economy. Production would be pushed higher and higher, and fewer financial middlemen would be able to find an opening in which to thrive.[50]  

     Pound became interested in the process of stamp scrip after reviewing Irving Fisher’s book, Stamp Scrip, which focused on how stamp scrip was implemented in the village of Woergl, Austria, in 1932. In Pound’s review, which appeared in the New English Weekly in 1933, Pound describes stamp scrip as “money issued against regular currency; against work, against commodities, or other guarantee, or as a book-keeping transaction, but its face value can be maintained only by affixing a stamp of small denomination at intervals. [51]   Redman notes that “It was probably the Woergl experiment and Irving Fisher’s account of it that led Pound to Gesell.”[52]   Pound actually wrote about the Woergl experiment in “Canto LXXIV,” which was published in the Quarterly Review of Literature in 1946:

        the state need not borrow
            as was shown by the mayor of Worgl
            who had a milk route
            and whose wife sold shirts and short breeches
and on whose book-shelf was the Life of Henry Ford
and also a copy of the Divina Commedia
            and of the Gedichte of Heine
            a nice little town in the Tyrol in a wide flat-lying valley
near Innsbruck and when a note of the
            small town of Worgl went over
a counter in Innsbruck
            and the banker saw it go over
            all the slobs in Europe were terrified [53]  

     The canto refers to Dante and Henry Ford, two men who saw the evils of usury. Dante saw usury as against nature, which Pound will write about in the mid-1930’s; Ford is noted for printing excerpts from the anti-Semitic Protocols in a series of articles for The Dearborn Independent in the early 1920’s. Pound started studying Gesell’s theory of stamp scrip and saw Douglas’s and Gesell’s ideas merged together. In an article published for New Democracy in 1934 Pound writes: “one is more likely to see Gesell and/or Douglas ideas working in Italy by 1945 than anywhere else on the planet. (Unless Stalin beats him to it.)” [54]   In an article also published in 1934 for the journal Declaration, Pound writes: “Italy is, as a matter of fact, acting with greater economic enlightenment than any other country in the world, and that means she is economically nearer Gesell and Douglas than are any other nations.”[55]   This economic solution is a triumph in Pound’s eyes because the world had been hit with the Great Depression, and he had found the solution to get money into the hands of the people.

      The Great Depression turned Pound more than ever towards economics. When the stock market crashed in 1929, “[c]onfidence was shaken, in the United States and abroad, in stocks and commodity values; in business forecast; in businessmen and bankers . . . in the reliability of utterances by leaders in business, finance, and government; and in President Hoover himself.”[56]   Randall Parker in Reflections on the Great Depression, argues that “[w]hile popular history treats the crash and the Depression as one and the same event, economists know they were not. But there is no doubt that the crash was one of the things that got the ball rolling.” [57]   As Joseph Davis notes in The World Between the Wars, 1919-39: An Economist’s View, “[s]evere contraction in May-December 1930 brought widespread and severe depression by the end of the year, when the first of the three U. S. banking crises erupted.”[58]   Davis comments that “[e]fforts of the banks to strengthen their reserve positions led to calling demand loans and refusals to extend maturing commercial loans; this in turn led to distress selling of goods and materials by debtor concerns, which hastened declines in commodity prices.”[59]   Davis points out that on December 12th the Bank of the United States closed its doors, and this “failure accented the first serious banking crisis of the interwar period; depositors’ confidence in many other banks was sadly shaken, and runs on banks and currency hoarding ensued.”[60]   In March 1931, a second banking crisis occurred and “the public resumed hoarding of currency, and banks resumed the sale of assets to strengthen their reserves. Late March and April . . . were marked by heavy liquidation in the stock market and ‘the largest failure of a Stock-Exchange house in history’ (Pynchon and Company), followed by the failure of another house . . . .”[61]   In December of 1932, the third and largest “wave of banking panics hit the financial markets and the collapse of the economy arrived with the business cycle hitting bottom in March 1933.”[62]  

      As a result of the Depression, economies of other countries also turned sour. Davis observes that the “severe stock market collapse and subsequent economic contraction in the United States . . . reduced U. S. markets for foreign goods, services, and securities, with drastic consequences all over the world.”[63]   Davis further explains, “Prices of securities fell all over the world, and most European bourses were promptly closed for varying periods. Central banks raised their rates sharply. Scandinavian countries and several British dominions soon went off gold [Great Britain went off the gold standard in 1931] . . . .”[64]   In May 1931, Austria’s “largest bank, the Kredit-anstault [sic], touched off financial panics in Europe.”[65]   Disillusionment and despair, according to Davis, filled the world during the years 1932-1933: “It is hard to exaggerate the plight of the world in the wake of the economic ‘hurricane” or “blizzard,” and the profound disillusionment and despair that prevailed in the depths of depression in 1932-1933. . . . Unemployment was of unprecedented severity nearly everywhere and of staggering dimensions in the more industrialized countries.”[66]   Davis records that the unemployment rate in the United States “rose from 4.34 million in 1930 to 8.02 million in 1931, to 12.06 million in 1932, and to 12.88 million in 1933, nearly one-fourth of the civilian labor force.”[67]  

      After defeating Hoover overwhelmingly, Roosevelt became the next President and took office in March 1933. He promised “a complete change of spirit and attitude, and went on to get congressional approval of an astounding number of hastily drafted measures for recovery and reform.”[68]   American went off the gold standard in April of that year. It is interesting to note that Pound disliked Roosevelt because he “did not understand a fundamental principle of economic reform, that the basis of credit is in the state. . . . This lack of comprehension was demonstrated by the fact that the United States borrowed money to put people back to work on public projects, instead of reforming currency or issuing dividends, as Gesell and Douglas advocated.”[69]   Pound’s interest in economics was related to finding an answer to rid the world of the Depression; unfortunately, his interest in economics turned towards a conspiracy theory.

      In 1933 Pound read a book entitled the Banker’s Conspiracy! Which Started the World Crisis by Arthur Kitson. Subsequently, on November 23, 1933, Pound wrote to Kitson, saying he was impressed with the book and suggesting they collaborate.[70]   Kitson’s book, published in 1933, consists of a copy of a report that Kitson contributed to the Cunliffe Committee in 1919 regarding the committee’s recommendation that England return to the gold standard. Kitson’s introduction and conclusion, which were written in the 1930s, explain that the Cunliffe Currency Committee’s report “advised the adoption of certain monetary policies which were accepted by the Coalition Government of Mr. Lloyd George in 1920, under the Chancellorship of Mr. (now Sir) Austen Chamberlain, and is directly responsible for the most disastrous period in the industrial history of this country.” [71]   The Cunliffe Committee apparently recommended handing over the control of the currency note issues to the Bank of England, and Kitson explains further that Churchill intensified “these evils” by re-establishing the Gold Standard in 1925.[72]   John Maynard Keynes opposed England’s return to the gold standard and voiced his concerns about this decision in his book entitled The Economic Consequences of Mr. Churchill, which was published in 1925. Keynes also served on the MacMillan Committee, which in a report dated July 13, 1931, recommended that Great Britain go off the gold standard; on September 20, 1931, the Bank of England stopped gold payments.[73]   As one can see, opposition to the gold standard was certainly not an eccentric idea during the 1930s.

      Kitson’s theory, however, veered in another direction, which was eccentric. In his book, the Banker’s Conspiracy! Which Started the World Crisis, Kitson argued that a Jewish conspiracy began in 1925 under the guise of the re-establishment of the gold standard:

By the universal adoption of the Gold Standard after its recommendation by the Cunliffe Committee which was one of the main policies advocated by the League of Nations, an irresponsible super-Government was created, composed of International Bankers. It required only a few years to prove the utter incapacity of these men to manage the world’s financial affairs, and if the people of all civilized countries are not yet convinced of the terrible dangers attending the supremacy of the banking interests, there will be a repetition of the economic disasters of the past few years—but of a much more intensive character.[74]  

     Kitson does not mention Jews in his book, but he does write about international financiers: “Money is not international, and the attempt to make it so is part of a deep-laid plot on the part of certain international financiers to control the world politically, industrially [sic], and financially . . . .”[75]   Kitson also supported the Protocols, and in his conclusion wrote that the revision of the gold standard came from an idea found in the Protocols: “Were these policies recommended and adopted as part of a deliberate conspiracy to enable a group of international bankers to control the world’s affairs, as outlined in the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion?[76]   In fact, Kitson sent Pound a copy of the Protocols in 1934, but Pound did not respond to Kitson’s correspondence regarding the book. This fact is important because it shows that at this point in time, Pound had not yet labeled Jewish bankers as international conspirators. The influence of Kitson on Pound appears to be negligible during the 1930s; Pound does not mention him in either his prose or poetry. It is not until ten years later, primarily in Pound’s radio speeches, that Kitson’s name and his work, The Banker’s Conspiracy! Which Started the World Crisis, are used as references to confirm a Jewish conspiracy.

      Even though Pound does not yet directly accuse Jews of conspiracy, the year 1934 marks a turning point in his developing belief in a conspiracy involving Jews and bankers. The same year also saw a rise of anti-Semitism in Italy. The first anti-Jewish campaign began in March of 1934 when sixteen people, of whom fourteen were Jews, were arrested and charged with seditious activities. “The arrests were seized upon as a pretext for an unprecedented attack on Italian Jewry; the Jewish origin of the ‘culprits’ was thrown into relief by the entire Italian press which spoke of ‘Jewish anti-Fascists in the pay of expatriates.’”[77]   The trial lasted, and the papers talked about it, until November. By the end of the year, “Italian anti-Semitism was once again confined to vague and sporadic attacks on ‘international Jewry’ and Jewish high finance,” but the trial had made Italians “more ‘Jew-conscious’ and more suspicious of the Italian Zionist.”[78]   Sometime before May of 1934, Pound received the February issue of Liberation, a journal of the Christian party and the Silvershirts of America, which contained the article, “The Mystery of the Civil War and Lincoln’s Death,” by William Dudley Pelley, the founder and editor of Liberation; the content of the article blamed the Civil War and the assassination of Lincoln on the Jews.[79]   Ironically, it was Louis Zukofsky, a Jewish friend of Pound, who sent him the article to show “the excesses of anticommunism and anti-Semitism in the United States . . . .”[80]   Leon Surette notes that Pound did not connect Lincoln’s death to a Jewish conspiracy until Pound read this article, and he cites as evidence a letter dated December of 1934 to Hugo Fack, a noted anti-Semite and Gesell supporter. In the letter to Fack, Pound asks his opinion about the “Jewish participation in the abolition of slavery, the American Civil War, and economic reform.”[81]   Surette points out that “[a]ll of these interests are new for Pound and are derived from Pelley’s article.”[82]   Surette is correct to notice that Pelley’s article in Liberation turned Pound more towards thinking of Jews in terms of conspiracy; some of Pound’s radio speeches and essays during World War II will focus on Lincoln and the Civil War. These interests are indeed new for Pound and involve a link to notions of Jewish conspiracy, which had not yet appeared in his prose or poetry.

      In a letter dated May 7, 1934, to Robert Summerville of the Silver Shirts of America, Pound first tells Summerville that he read Pelley’s essay and then proceeds to write about how Jews and others are involved in a Jewish conspiracy to control finance and education. The actual letter appeared as an essay entitled “Ezra Pound, Silvershirt,” for the New Masses in March of 1936. In the letter, Pound does not specifically blame the Jews but mentions them along with the “local aryans” who, Pound believed, were responsible for financial conspiracy: “That S/S/ should attack financial tyranny BY WHOMEVER exercised, i.e., whether by international jew or local aryan.”[83]   These words are important because during the mid- and late 1930s, Pound maintained an ambivalence on the question of Jews and usury, and would comment that Jews were not entirely to blame for usury. But in the letter, he does implicate Jews and others in a plot to wipe out education: “That the plot, conscious and unconscious, manipulated by jews AND others to prevent American education should be exposed and FOILED.” He also writes: “Foundations, jewish, foreign AND American have been so used as to smother economic and historic research.”[84]   Again, Pound does not blame only Jews or involve only them in a conspiracy; he includes others, though not by name. But he does name Jews he thinks may be involved in some conspiracy. “All the peoples of the earth have let that control [control of value that arises with the cultural heritage=aggregate [sic]of mechanical inventions, improvements of agriculture, and of civilized habits] slip into the hands of Kreugers, Insulls, and Wiggins . . . Morgans, De Wendels, Schneiders; Rothschilds etc./ and their agents . . . .”[85]   The list of names that Pound highlights is composed of financiers and munitions suppliers. Ivar Kreuger, for example, “was a Swedish financier, who killed himself on 12 March 1932. . . . After his death he and other financiers were revealed as swindlers.”[86]   Samuel Insull “helped monopolize Chicago Edison and then founded the Insull utility group. After being hit by the depression, he attempted to save his estate with loans. He was unable to pay back his debts, became vilified in the eyes of the public, and eventually fled to Europe after being acquitted of embezzlement, larceny, and mail fraud charges.”[87]   Albert Wiggin of Chase Bank was one of New York’s great bankers.[88]   J. P. Morgan was a banker whose company profited from supplying war goods to the Allied Powers.[89]   Francois de Wendel “was the son of the president of the French Comitée; des Forges, which was responsible for the majority of munitions sales prior to and following World War I.”[90]   Schneider was a munitions company.[91]   These quotations show that Pound was beginning to think in terms of Jewish conspiracy. The notion of a conspiracy had not previously been present in Pound’s works. In a letter to Zukofsky, dated May 6[-7], 1934, Pound asks: “I spose Mr Pelley will be annoyed wiff me fer askin if all bankers iz jooz?”[92]   Pound will connect Jews and bankers and usurers all together, and this article from Pelley is the source. Surette also notes that Fack told Pound in a letter dated January 9, 1935, that “Roosevelt was surrounded by Jews, and even that FDR himself was Jewish.”[93]   Pelley’s letter certainly did not cause Pound’s anti-Semitism, but it directed his hatred on a dangerous path towards conspiracy, and Fack’s belief regarding Roosevelt is a clear influence on Pound’s future anti-Semitic remarks.

      The article that Zukofsky sent to Pound was intended to show Pound the lengths of absurdity involved in the accusations of Jewish conpiracy. In response to Pound’s letter to Summerville, Zukofsky had this warning for Pound in a letter dated March 12, 1936: “Damn stupid thing for them to have printed it: but if you will yump [sic] before you look, what do you expect? You shd. have investigated who Summerville was before you wasted yr. time to write him. If I remember rightly now I did warn you by sending you Pelley’s rotten organ, but you didn’t take it as a warning I guess, & went purblind.”[94] Zukofsky sent Liberation to Pound as a warning not as the truth. Pound’s friendship with Zukofsky is “often cited as evidence that he was not anti-Semitic, but it only demonstrates that he had no personal phobia about Jews, either on racial or cultural grounds.”[95] Indeed, Max Wykes-Joyce uses Zukofsky’s friendship, among other reasons, to explain how Pound was not anti-Semitic towards certain Jews.

      In an essay, written in 1949, Wykes-Joyce makes the following comments about Pound’s anti-Semitism:

His detestation of universal usury accounts for his anti-Semitism. His is economic antisemitism. That he is not racially anti-Jewish can be abundantly proved. One instance is in his choice of performers for the Rapallo concerts which he organized there over a period of about ten years, which included Lonny Mayer, a Jewish singer, and, after the inception of the race-laws in Italy, the Jewish pianist Franchetti. Among the usurers, however, there are so many Jews; and against that sort of Jew Pound is merciless. I hasten to add that he would be equally ruthless with its Gentile counterpart. His most important book in prose is dedicated to the Jewish poet, Louis Zukofsky, who has testified to the absolute lack of racial feeling in Pound . . . . [96]  
Just as Pound’s friendship with Zukofsky serves as evidence that Pound was not racially anti-Semitic, so is the claim that Pound was only anti-Semitic in terms of economics. Pound would often claim after World War II that he was indeed not anti-Semitic but hated the usurious Jews.

      “Usury" starts to appear more in Pound’s published prose in 1934. It was not the article by William Pelley that brought usury into Pound’s thoughts; rather, it was through Pound’s views on Social Credit in the 1920s that usury entered his vocabulary. In 1934, however, Pound begins thinking more about conspiracy, and the article from Pelley may have pushed him in that direction. During this time period, Pound describes usury in terms of Dante’s Inferno, the third round of the seventh circle, which contained those who were violent against God (the blasphemers) and those who were violent against nature and art (the sodomites and usurers). In an article published in July of 1934 for the New English Weekly, Pound writes: “The Middle Ages distinguished between SHARING and USURY. In correct theology, as Dante knew it, the usurer is damned with the sodomite. Usury judged with sodomy as “contrary to natural increase,” contrary to the nature of live things (animal and vegetable) to multiply.” [97]   Pound will often use allusions to Dante’s Inferno when referring to usurers.

      The last section of Chapter Two covers the years 1935-1939 and traces how Pound more and more links Jews, usury, and bankers. In an article published in February, 1935, he makes it clear that he does not trust bankers: “The bankers lift more in a year than the crime gangs do in two decades.”[98]   Even though he does not imply that Jews are bankers in the previous article, he names certain bankers that are Jewish in an article published in July 1935 for the New English Weekly. He even suggests a conspiracy between Jews and these bankers and Roosevelt: “It is not so much that Frank Roose(n)velt has co-operated with the Levys as that their cousins the Lehmanns, Barachs, Morgensteins, etc., have co-operated with him. Roosevelt is fundamentally the usurers’ champion.” [99]   David A. Moody, in his essay “'EP with Two Pronged Fork of Terror and Cajolery’: The Construction of his Anti-Semitism (Up to 1939),” explains “Shylock was Shakespeare’s figure of the root sin and Pound needed his own . . . and he found him in ‘Rothschild’, the Jewish banker. . . . From ‘Rothschild’ he moved to Roosevelt as the figure of Usura occupying the presidential seat. To reinforce the association he frequently twisted Roosevelt’s name to make it seem Jewish. Roosevelt did not put a stop to bank usury, and that made him in Pound’s eyes the usurer’s friend and therefore a Jew.”[100]   Pound’s notion that Jewish bankers control Roosevelt links back to what Hugo Fack told Pound about how Roosevelt was controlled by Jews.

      But during this time period, Pound changes his mind in two articles and does not specifically accuse Jews of usury. In an article dated October 31, 1935, for the New English Weekly, Pound writes: “One usurer is as another. Hell makes no distinction. . . . Usury is the root of all wars.”[101]   In another article in November of the same year for the New English Weekly, Pound writes:

           USURERS have no race. How long the whole Jewish people is to be the sacrificial goat for the usurer, I know not, The Jews are supposed to be clever.
           Past history of pogrom shows a lacuna in cleverness.
           It can not be too clearly known that no man can take usury and observe the law of the Hebrews. No orthodox Jew can take usury without sin, as defined in his own scriptures.
           The Jew usurer being an outlaw runs against his own people, and uses them as his whipping boy. Hitler in the one witticism that shows us (outside Germany) why his Fuhrer has said it: A Jew doctor is a Jew, a Jew lawyer is Jew, but a Jew banker is a banker. [102]  
      In this article, Pound is empathetic towards Jews labeled as usurers. He specifically writes that “Jew usurer” is an “outlaw against his own people.” Pound is referring to the Old Testament biblical references that prohibit usury. For example, a passage in Exodus states the following: “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.”[103]   In Leviticus, the following is also written:
35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.
37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. [104]  
     There are other references to usury in the Old Testament that appear in such books as Nehemiah, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. There is one particular passage in Deuteronomy, to which Pound also alludes when he writes how the Jews cannot bring usury upon their “brother,” but they can bring usury upon “strangers”:
19 Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:
20 Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.[105]  
     In a letter to the editor that was published in the New English Weekly in May of 1936, Pound in fact alludes to this biblical passage: “HAS the Jew the financial power to dominate? The law of Moses forbids usury in many cases. It stamps it as a hostile act. If permissible, permissible only against mortal enemies of the tribe.”[106]   At this point in time, Pound shows that he is not anti-Semitic concerning all Jews, but he clearly does not like the “Jew usurer.” In a November 1935 essay for Current Controversy, Pound brings Shylock into his thoughts. “Are we to consider usurers as raceless? Or are we to neglect the great lesson of the Merchant of Venice? . . . . Are we never to see that Shylock betrays his race, by hiding behind it? Charged as a usurer in attempt toward mayhem, he cried, ‘I am a jew.’”[107]  

      Pound’s anger towards usury appears in “Canto XLV,” which was originally published for the journal, Prosperity, in February of 1936. The poem begins with the following lines:

With Usura
           With usura hath no man a house of good stone
           each block cut smooth and well fitting
that design might cover their face,
with usura
hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
harpes et luz
or where virgin receiveth message
and halo projects incision,
with usura
seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
no picture is made to endure nor to live with
but it is made to sell and sell quickly [108]  
     The first part of Pound’s canto focuses on property, a man’s house, in which, where usury is involved, art cannot be carved in the walls, nor can the walls of the church be painted with art. Pound alludes to Gonzaga, as Hugh Kenner in the The Pound Era notes, “Mantegna painted Duke Gonzaga and his family in fresco on the wall above the fireplace of the Camera degli Sposi in the palace of Mantua, and there is no way to detach and sell a fresco.”[109]   This fresco does not have any resale value because it cannot be detached and sold for a profit, nor can a painting on a church wall: “And churches are not painted, and stone is not carved. These are far from being mysterious assertions, for nothing will secure a loan unless it has resale value, and ‘a painted paradise on his church wall’ has none, nor a fresco (like Mantegna’s ‘Gonzaga’) that cannot be detached from the wall . . . Such amenities represent nothing but expense.”[110]   Kenner further explains: “Try to get a bank loan to build an unorthodox house: you will encounter the bank’s fear that if you cannot meet your payments they will have trouble reselling the house they have seized. Thus the trend toward standardization of houses.”[111]   Kenner is correct. Usury destroys creativity because a fresco above the fireplace or painted on a church wall can neither be sold separately for profit nor even enhance the house's profitability. The subjugation of art by usury is an integral part of this canto. In one line Pound writes: “with usura the line grows thick.” [112]   According to Terrell, this alludes to what Pound wrote in Guide to Kulchur: “’I suggest that finer and future critics of art will be able to tell from the quality of a painting the degree of tolerance or intolerance of usury extant in the age and milieu that produced it.’”[113]   In other words, usury affects the quality of the artist’s work because, in an age of usury, the creation of the artist is made to “sell and sell quickly” for profit; the money rather than the aesthetic beauty of the creation matters.

      Usury not only hinders the creation of art but destroys that which is against nature, contra naturam:

   Usura slayeth the child in the womb
It slayeth the young man’s courting
It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth
between the young bride and her
                      CONTRA NATURAM
They have brought whores for Eleusis
Corpses are set to banquet
at behest of usura. [114]  
      Eleusis, according to Terrell, is the town in Attica, where the Eleusinian mysteries were celebrated.[115]   The Eleusinian mysteries “consisted of purifications, fasts, rites, and dramas portraying the legend of Demeter and Persephone. The mysteries were believed to insure happiness in the future world, imparted formulas to be used by each soul on its passage to the future world, and forecast resurrection and immortality of men.”[116]   The Eleusinian Mysteries celebrated life but in this canto, usura corrupted the sacred rites with whores and corpses. In Pound’s canto, usury corrupts not only art but nature, in that the “wool comes not to market/sheep bringeth no gain with usura.”[117]   Indeed, usury even corrupts the marriage rites. Usury infiltrates pretty much everything that would create a paradise because usury is based on a system that is “CONTRA NATURAM;” the money that usury generates is not built from the work of artists or from the crops of the lands, but from an unnatural source: money, itself.

      Pound’s definition of usury appears at the end of “Canto XLV.”[118]   From this point on it appears periodically throughout Pound’s written prose. Pound defines usury as the following: “Usury: A charge for the use of purchasing power, levied without regard to production; often without regard to the possibilities of production.”[119]   Hugh Kenner explains: “To recapitulate: the Douglas hypothesis, that the money distributed by production will not buy the product, means that there is a perpetual shortage of money. The money is created as interest-bearing debt: this, and not any quibble over interest rates, is what Pound means by usura.”[120]   Kenner also explains Pound’s view of usury in the following argument: “A bank, considered simply as a business, issues purchasing power in the form of debt, this debt, thanks to ‘interest,’ greater than the credit issued, and related in no way to the use it has been put to. . . . Thus the supply of currency is regulated by merchants of currency, which is as though someone should have a monopoly on oxygen; and the charge made for providing it (‘usura’) is a tax on everyone’s energies.”[121]   Kenner offers a worthy insight into Pound’s definition of usury in that the banks control the interest accrued on debts. To better understand Pound’s perception of usury, however, it is best to note first how Pound defines the following terms: money, capital, and property. In his essay, “The Language of Money,” which was published in Fig Tree in September of 1936, Pound defines these terms:

      The money claim is extinguished, or goes out of the possession of him who holds the money, when he receives goods or services for it.
      Capital, on the other hand, remains in the hands of the holder, who receives for it an unending flow of money (or some form of coupon valid as a claim on money) as claim ultimately on goods or on services.
      Money is a measured CLAIM, against goods or services. It is a transferable claim. Transferable without other formality than that of handing it over. . . .
      PROPERTY differs from money and from capital in that it imposes no responsibility on anyone save its possessor. . . . A house or a chair slowly wears out, but no onus falls on anyone save its owner in respect of its perishability. The term property is currently applied to fairly durable things, lands, houses, chattels . . . [122]  

     With these definitions in mind, Pound then explains the difference between a good partnership and a partnership that can end in usury: “We share the cost of the ship: we share in the cost of the cargo: and we take returns in proportion—this is good sport and good fellowship: partaggio. But; we share in the expenses; I take a profit if there be one; but if the ship sinks I take your house. That is a different arrangement: usura.”[123]   In Pound’s example, his partner’s property should not even be considered as payment for the lost ship. The partner’s house should not be used as an asset to recover lost money because, according to Pound, money is a measured claim against goods or services, “[t]ransferable without other formality than that of handing it over.” Pound ends this essay with a description of two different banks: the Monte dei Paschi, which was beneficial to the people, and the Banca San Giorgio, which was not: “The Monte dei Paschi arose in the WILL to remake Siena; to re-establish the good life in Siena. The Banca San Giorgio rose in the determination to GET money OUT of the people of Genova.”[124]   Pound views the Monte dei Paschi as the only type of valid bank that exists. The Banca San Giorgio falls into the Pound category of “devils.”

      In a section entitled “Banks,” which was part of Social Credit: An Impact, published in 1935, Pound describes the differences between these two banks: “Two kinds of banks have existed: The MONTE DEI PASCHI and the devils.”[125]   Pound sees success in the Monte dei Paschi because it existed for the good of the people. Pound explains:

      Siena was flat on her back, without any money after the Florentine conquest.
      Cosimo, the first duke of Tuscany . . . guaranteed the capital of the Monte, taking as security the one living property of Siena, and a certain amount of somewhat unhandy collateral.
      That is to say, Siena had grazing lands down toward Grosseto, and the grazing rights worth 10,000 ducats a year. On this basis taking it for his main security, Cosimo underwrote a capital of 200,000 ducats, to pay 5 per cent to the shareholders, and to be lent at 5 ½ per cent; overhead kept down to a minimum; salaries at the minimum and all excess of profit over that to go to hospitals and works for the benefit of the people of Siena.[126]  
     William Chace, in The Political Identities of Ezra Pound & T. S. Eliot, explicates Pound’s view of the Monte dei Paschi: “His moral is the obvious one: that it is good to found a public institution, not for individual profit, but for the purpose of extending life to all the people of a city.”[127]   Indeed Chase is correct in his argument; however, there is another reason why Pound considers the Monte dei Paschi a successful bank: it used the abundance of nature, that is the grazing lands, for profits. Paul Morrison, in The Poetics of Fascism: Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Paul de Man, says that the bank “was literally grounded in a type of collective ‘ownership of land,’ the pastures of Siena that sustained the Sienese flocks. To own deposits or shares in the bank was to own luoghi or ‘places’ on the mountainside; the ‘Monte’ as bank or money was coincident with the monte as mount or land. Because the bank paid its depositors or shareholders at the same rate it lent money—minus half a percent, which went for overhead—it was effectively nonprofit.”[128]   Pound writes, “The CREDIT rests in ultimate on the ABUNDANCE OF NATURE, on the growing grass that can nourish the sheep.”[129]   The other banks, i.e. the devils, do not rely on the abundance of nature, according to Pound, to reinvigorate the good of a city or a people, such as in Siena. The devils rely on that which is unnatural or contra naturam (against nature), i. e. money made from debts, for the good of making profits for themselves, as in the case of the Banca San Giorgio. Pound explains: “The hell banks have . . . started as gangs of creditors, associated to strangle the last ounce of profit out of their debtors. . . . They have stood for exactitude in accounting. Once the dice have been loaded, they have counted up every point, every decimal. Chief and most glorified was the Banca S. Giorgio, the pitiless company of Genoese creditors, the model bank among bankers . . . .”[130]  

      To better explain how usury is contra naturam, Pound alludes to Dante’s monster, Geryon, “a symbol of usury and violence against nature and art.”[131]   In an article for the British-Italian Bulletin in February of 1936, Pound writes: “England’s danger is not from bullets. It is from a monster more deadly and persuasive. Dante saw it swimming in black fog in nether Inferno, with the face of a just man, and the tail of a serpent, Geryon that passeth mountains and crusheth down walls and towers.”[132]   In an article published in May 1936 for the British-Italy’s Challenge, Pound writes: “I put it to the student of history that the principle of the usury State is destruction, and that this destruction worms through the whole of life in such states, it attacks the health of the people, it attacks every manifestation of humanity. It attacks the arts, it destroys constructivity, it ultimately corrupts justice, thought . . . .”[133]   Pound sees usury as an entity that attacks, yet at this point he does not directly accuse the Jews.

      It was also during the year 1936 that Pound listened to Father Coughlin’s radio broadcasts and became familiar with his book Money! Questions and Answers. Coughlin broadcast his radio program, “The Golden Hour of the Shrine of the Little Flower,” between 1926 and 1945 from Royal Oak, Michigan. His radio sermons were “replete with phrases describing American society as controlled by powerful “banksters,” “plutocrats,” “astheistic Marxists,” and “international (a code word for Jewish) financiers . . . .”[134]   Donald Warren in his biography of Coughlin credits the priest with the origins of televangelism and political talk radio. Warren also notes that Coughlin created the National Union for Social Justice and converted it into a political party: “He thereby established a precedent for future religious figures who would build political movements based on media audiences . . . .”[135]   Pound did not have a radio of his own until March of 1940 but had been listening to shortwave broadcasts for at least five years before that. For example, he praised Coughlin’s January 1935 speech in a letter written in March of 1935 to Odon Por, a supporter of Mussolini.[136] Pound’s first mention of Father Coughlin appears in “American Notes,” published in March 1935 in the New English Weekly. The article referred to how American authorities were trying to stop Coughlin’s broadcasts. In an article entitled “For a Decent Europe,” published in the British-Italian Bulletin on March 14, 1936, Pound writes about Coughlin: “Coughlin has the great gift of simplifying vital issues to a point where the populace can understand their main factor if not the technical details.”[137]   Warren writes that Pound not only offered Coughlin financial support in a small donation for his Social Justice League and advised Coughlin to begin a new journal called Social Justice, but Pound also patterned his speeches after the priest. “Not only did he [Pound] offer moral, financial, and advisory support to the radio priest, but he offered the highest compliment of all: imitation. When war came to Europe in the fall of 1939, Pound offered his services . . . to the Mussolini government. He contracted to make regular radio propaganda broadcasts offering his views on world issues.”[138]   Pound could have patterned his radio speeches after Coughlin since Pound’s radio speeches carry similar anti-Semitic accusations. Unlike Coughlin, however, who used “international bankers” as code words for Jewish power to control the world, Pound would name the Jewish bankers and accuse them directly of conspiracy.

      According to Victor Ferkiss’s article, “Populist Influences on American Fascism,” Coughlin’s political movement was part of American fascism, which “grew up in America during the period 1929-41 at a time when America publicists and intellectuals were rediscovering America in their reaction to the growth of fascism and Nazism abroad.”[139]   He argues that American fascism indeed was derived from none other than Populism. Such movements as Father Coughlin’s “were not the result of temporary psychological aberrations on the part of the masses but were, instead, the culmination of an ideological development stemming from such generally revered movements as Populism and ‘agrarian democracy’”.[140]   Ferkiss explains that one of the qualities that Populism and American fascism have in common is “[a]n economic program designed to appeal to a middle class composed largely of farmers and small merchants which feels itself being crushed between big business—and especially big finance—on the one hand, and an industrial working class which tends to question the necessity of the wage system and even of private property itself on the other.”[141]   Another focus is nationalism: “International co-operation is held to be a device by means of which supranational conspirators are able to destroy the freedom and well-being of the people.”[142]   Another issue involves “[a]n interpretation of history in which the causal factor is the machinations of international financiers. The American Revolution, the fight of Jackson against the bank, and Lincoln’s war against the South and its British allies are all considered episodes in the struggle of the people against the ‘money power.’”[143]   What Ferkiss describes in these three areas involves conspiracy. Although Populism did have some anti-Semitic connotations associated with the Free Silver campaign and the fear of international bankers controlling the gold standard, anti-Semitism and conspiracy were not the heart of Populism; rather its movement was based on the fight for the middle class worker.

      Ferkiss’s three areas of comparison, which involve conspiracy, correlate directly to Coughlin’s work, Money! Questions and Answers. Coughlin’s work, which was published 1936, was written by Gertrude Coogan, a follower of Kitson and an anti-Semite.[144]   In fact, Pound first mentions Gertrude Coogan and how Money! was recommended to him in an article entitled “American Notes” published on April 2, 1936 in New English Weekly.[145]   Coughlin’s work is filled with conspiracy theories regarding the international banker, whom Ferkiss calls the “supranational conspirator.” For example, in response to a question of whether international bankers are rulers of the world, Coughlin writes: “Yes. When they are able to manipulate the money structure of the various nations, they dominate and control both the economic and social life of any nation wherein they carry on their manipulations.”[146]   In response to a question of whether Karl Marx ever attacked international bankers, Coughlin actually suggests that Marx consolidated international bankers to basically dominate the world: “No, his [Marx’s] whole system proposed not the abolition of illicit private money creation and destruction powers, but its consolidation under a system of complete economic, political, and religious domination of the entire world by a few internationalists.”[147]   Coughlin never mentions the word “Jew” in Money!; however, there are references to international bankers, which is code for Jews, according to Warren’s biography. Ferkiss argues that American fascism involved “[a]n interpretation of history in which the causal factor is the machinations of international financiers,” and Coughlin’s provides a fine example of this argument in his response to why the Federal Reserve Act and the Banking Act were passed and nothing has been done to change them: “Because every time a Franklin, a Jefferson, a Jackson, or a Lincoln, or any other honest public servant attempted to arouse the people to the fraud from which they suffer, the private money creators—international bankers—arose in their might and used their controlled press, their bootlick politicians, their office boy bankers, their docile clergymen, and their power over the prosperity of America, to smash the drive for economic freedom.”[148]   In Pound’s prose and radio speeches in the 1940s, he blames the Civil War and the assassination of Lincoln on the bankers.

      Ferkiss argues that money reform was central to American fascism and that capitalism and communism were seen as detrimental to society:

This concentration on money reform fostered the fascist view that capitalism and communism are basically similar in that both concentrate all economic power in the hands of the few. For the fascists the evils of capitalism and communism can be avoided only through the creation of a strong state. The state will then be able to intervene to save private property from becoming concentrated in the hands of the few through social control of those economic mechanisms which are used by the usurious international bankers to destroy their economic competitors and to control both the nation’s economy and its government.[149]  
     With this point in mind, Ferkiss maintains that Pound’s economic ideas were similar to American fascism: “Pound’s voluminous economic writings are almost wholly devoted to the advocacy of public control of credit to defeat the money power and of fascism as the necessary means to this end. The evils of usury and the necessity of monetary reform are the themes of his most important poetic works.”[150]   Besides the fact that Ferkiss’s statement is misleading, in that Pound only devoted himself to economic thought in his prose and poetry, his argument about Pound as an American fascist deserves some further comments. In another article specifically focused on Pound, Ferkiss argues that Pound’s political views “closely parallel those of other persons, who, together with Pound, are commonly called American Fascists.” [151]   Ferkiss explains that “Ezra Pound believed that only fascism could adequately solve the world’s economic problems and bring an end to economic injustice. For Pound, economic injustice is the source of all social ills, since economics are for him the very foundation of life. Usury is for Pound the one great all-encompassing evil—the subject at once of his political polemics and his poetry. Nor is he moved to condemn usury merely because of the economic suffering it causes others. He hates it as he does because it destroys all civilization, all culture, and the artist himself.”[152]   Ferkiss is correct in his analysis of usury because indeed Pound saw usury as contra naturam. But Ferkiss misses the point with the claim that Pound believed that only fascism could adequately solve the world’s economic problems. If Ferkiss’s statement relies on how monetary reform was central to American fascism, then Pound’s views regarding getting the money out of the hands of bankers do fall in line with Ferkiss’s description of American fascism. But Ferkiss fails to note that Pound saw Social Credit and stamp scrip, not the movements of American fascism or Italian Fascism, as the means to solve the “world’s economic problems,” which were directly related to the Great Depression.

      What is striking about both of Ferkiss’s essays is his argument about the relationship between Populism and American fascism. Indeed, Ferkiss’s three areas of comparison between Populism and American fascism seem to reveal both as defined in terms of conspiracy, namely Jewish. As mentioned earlier, anti-Semitism was not an integral force in Populism, and the anti-Semitism that emerged with Populism was based in part on the silver versus gold debate.[153]   Pound’s views about money reform, however, were indeed close to Populism. The “Cleburne Demands,” which was the first document that stated the demands of the Populist Party, called for the use of greenbacks and unlimited coinage of gold and silver. “The proposal called for a federally administered national banking system embracing a flexible currency, to be achieved through the substitution of legal tender treasury notes for existing issues of private national banks. The sums involved should be issued by the federal treasury and regulated by Congress to provide ‘per capita circulation that shall increase as the population and business interests of the country expand.’”[154]   In other words, money was taken out of the hands of the bankers and placed into the hands of the people. This was also Pound's demand.

      Social Credit and stamp scrip, for Pound, were the tools to implement this process: they would indeed take money out of the hands of the bankers. Pound’s anti-Semitism did take on some characteristics of the Free Silver campaign, which warned of a Jewish takeover through control of gold. Pound’s anti-Semitism, however, was not a direct result of Populism as a movement, but a gradual development. The Populist priest, Father Coughlin, who preached and wrote about a Jewish conspiracy, did, however, catalyze Pound's thinking in the same direction.

      In 1937 and 1938 Pound’s ambivalence about Jews and usury begins to show in his writing. He wavers back and forth on whether to directly accuse the Jews of usury. In “The Revolution Betrayed,” for example, published in the British Union Quarterly in the January/March edition, Pound writes: “If you believe that a whole race should be punished for the sin of some of its members, I admit that the expulsion of the two million Jews in New York would not be an excessive punishment for the harm done by Jewish finance to the English race in America.”[155]   In the “Infamy of Taxes,” on the other hand, written in June 1938 for Action, Pound accuses not only the Jews but everyone else of usury. “International usury is not entirely Jewish, but the evil done by the Jewish elements in international bleeding is enough to explain hatred of Jewry ten times over. Nevertheless international usury contains more Calvinism, protestant sectarianism, than Judaism.”[156]  

      Another example of Pound’s ambivalence towards Jews appears in an article for the 1938 July/September issue of Purpose: “I am not anti-semite, I am AGAINST the aryio-kike. The aryio-kike is filthiness of whatever racial compost; he has all vices which the anti-semite attributes to the Jew. . . . A monopolist is a louse. The monopolists of money are the lowest form and largest variety of louse known to man, and no mercy is due to them. They are a filth, their sustainers are filth, and they corrupt everything they get their tentacles on to, from music to the whoring press of the big press owners.”[157]   Pound actually defines this term in an article, published in 1939 for the New English Weekly, as “usurious Aryan bastards.”[158]   The term, “aryio-kike” could possibly be alluding to the medieval reference of “baptized Jews.” This term applied to Christian usurers, who justified usury through the loophole found in Deuteronomy (already cited). These verses were at the heart of the controversy surrounding the justification and banishment of usury. In the medieval period, the commentaries of St. Ambrose (340-397) in the De Tobia were taken as the standard: “The true meaning and limits of Deuteronomy xxiii:20, he argues, were clear only in the light of the authorized war of the Chosen People against the tribes inhabiting the Promised Land.”[159]   In other words, it was fine for the Jews to charge usury but only against their enemy; however, Christians were prohibited from usury. When the Crusades came, “alert Churchmen were pained to discover that Ambrose’s resolution opened the door to unwelcome economic and religious developments . . . .”[160]   Indeed, Ambrose’s interpretation of Deuteronomy allowed loopholes: “Unqualified acceptance of Ambrose’s teaching authorized Christians to demand interest from Moslems . . . this was a useful economic weapon in recovering their rightful heritage as Christians from the modern Canaanites—but it also gave the Jews in Europe carte blanche to continue to exact usury from their Christian debtors.”[161]   Nelson explains that Ambrose’s interpretation created a problem: “In the eyes of the Popes, especially Innocent III (1190-1216), effective promotion of the crusades required the curtailment of all usurers, Jewish as well as Christian, clerical as well as secular. Aided by formal government licenses and priestly collusion, these different but equally abhorred sorts of usurers were exploiting the opportunities for lush profits in commodity corners and loans on the security of lands which were thrown on the market by the crusade-bound nobility.”[162]   Nelson notes “[b]y the end of the twelfth century, ‘manifest’ Christian usurers were outstripping the Jews, and were well on their way to becoming an international menace. Like Judas Iscariot, contemporaries said, these parvenus stood ever ready to betray Christ and the Christian brotherhood for thirty pieces of silver. There were even those who dared to cite God’s word, Deuteronomy, against the Church prohibition of usury.”[163]   These are the type of usurers that Pound calls “aryio-kike.”

      The term “aryio-kike” is key to Pound’s ambivalence. It indicates two types of patterns in Pound’s writing regarding the issue of Jews and usury. The first pattern involves an ambivalence present throughout the 1930s when Pound writes about the two subjects. As shown previously, he waivers back and forth, as in the 1934 letter to Robert Summerville of the Silver Shirts of America, where Pound blames Jews and “local aryans” for financial conspiracy. In a l934 letter to Zukofsky, however, he wonders if all bankers are Jews. In 1935 he suggests a conspiracy between Roosevelt and Jewish bankers, but also in the same year, he says that there is not any distinction among usurers. These are only a few examples. It is not until the 1940s that his wavering stops, and his words become filled with anger towards Jews, who, he believed, were involved in usury and thus conspiracy. The other pattern involves the flat-out denial of his anti-Semitism. His remark in the 1938 issue of Purpose is the first example of this denial. Pound would state that he was not anti-Semitic because his remarks against Jews were not only economic and not racial in nature but only directed at specific Jews in a conspiracy involving usury.[164]   In his article “'EP with Two Pronged Fork of Terror and Cajolery’: The Construction of his Anti-Semitism (Up to 1939),” Moody offers an explanation of Pound’s claim that he is not anti-Semitic but still believed certain Jews to be involved in conspiracy. Moody argues that Pound views the Jews “not as victims but as the destroyers; and that means that they deserve to be persecuted—not on racial grounds . . . but because of the economic harm that they do. Thus Pound could be against anti-Semitism as a race-prejudice, while endorsing it on economic grounds.”[165]   The term “aryio-kike” is indicative of this. For Pound, “aryio-kike” was not an anti-Semitic slur because it referred in economic terms to “usurious Aryan bastards.” Pound’s prejudice against certain Jews, he often claimed, was based only on economics, and thus he did not view himself as an anti-Semite.

      One must remember that also underlying Pound’s denial of his anti-Semitism during the late 1930s was the enactment of the racial laws in Italy, which were officially passed on October 6, 1938. According to Michaelis’s book on Mussolini, the Duce passed the race laws to appease Hitler: “Mussolini had all sorts of grievances against the Jews but only one reason for persecuting them as a ‘race’—his ill-fated alliance with a Jew-baiter.”[166]   Michaelis further explains: “The Duce’s decision to break with the Jews was due, not to any irresistible foreign pressure, but to his own recognition of Italy’s changed alignment in Europe and more particularly to his desire to cement the Axis alliance by eliminating any strident contrast in the policy of the two Powers.”[167]   Even though the race laws were not as stringent as the Nuremberg Laws, anti-Semitism was brought even more to the forefront.

      Pound’s Guide to Kulchur, published in 1938, also displays his views on Jews and usury. Pound notes, for example, that usury can be dated back to the parable of Adam and Eve. “I wd. go back even further and suggest that the forbidden fruit of [the] hebrew story is a usury parable. At least that wd. make sense, the distinction between neschek, corrosive usury, and marbit . . . If you take it that the age of abundance ended when the marbit swelled out into neschek you wd. avoid a number of troublesome contradictions. And the perversion of the meaning in tradition wd. fall in nicely with old John Adams’ remarks on the shamelessness wherewith the money racketeers have defaced and obliterated all monuments likely to enlighten humanity and interfere with their swindle.”[168]   The term “neschek” is the Hebrew word for usury; “neschek” literally actually means “a bite.”[169]   The term “marbit” means the gain on the creditor’s side.[170]   Pound also uses the term neschek in an article published in 1939 for the Townsman: “I sat with the jew in Paradise. It is written/if you eat of the fruit . . . This fruit is NESCHEK.”[171]   Only Pound would turn the story of Adam and Eve into a parable about usury. Even though the theme of usury is prevalent in Guide to Kulchur, it is not only about usury but about a variety of topics associated with Pound’s views on literature, education, philosophy, economics, and politics. Chace, in his book, The Political Identities of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, writes: “[Guide to Kulchur] provides one of the best introductions to Pound and to the landscape of his mind. That landscape is dense with good civilizations and bad, good art and usury-ravaged art, good men and bankers, proper and improper ways of nourishing society.”[172]   Guide to Kulchur shows Pound’s views during this time in Italy. For example, one can assess how Pound’s view of Hitler has changed when Pound compares his discovery of Mussolini to Wyndham Lewis’s discovery of Hitler: “I hand it to him as a superior perception. Superior in relation to my own ‘discovery’ of Mussolini.”[173]   This view is different from what Pound said about Hitler in 1934 in an article published in the New English Weekly: “Adolphe [sic] is an, almost, pathetic hysteric; he appeals to my old friend Wyndham Lewis; he is, so far as I can make out, a tool of almost the worst Huns.”[174]  

      In 1938 Pound also encountered another book that influenced his belief in a Jewish conspiracy. In “Introductory Textbook,” which was published in 1938, Pound makes the first mention of Willis Overholser’s A Short Review and Analysis of the History of Money in the United States , which was published in 1936: Pound uses a quote by Abraham Lincoln, which Pound attributes to Overholser.[175]   Pound also recommended the book in August 1939 to Odon Por.[176]   Overholser’s book is important because, in a radio speech, Pound credits Overholser, as well as Kitson, with educating him about the Jewish conspiracy. Indeed Overholser shared the same belief as Kitson that the gold standard was a conspiracy that was started by international bankers: “The gold standard in reality is a gold fraud, and was conceived as a means of enabling the international banker to fleece and rob.”[177]   As in Kitson’s work, the word “Jew” is not mentioned, but “international bankers” refer to Jews. The difference between Kitson’s and Overholser’s books lies in Overholser’s Appendix, which provides three references that Pound uses repeatedly in the 1940s as evidence to maintain a Jewish conspiracy. It is interesting to note that two of these references appear in Father Coughlin’s Money! Questions and Answers; none of these, however, appear in Kitson’s work.[178]  

      The year 1939 cemented Pound’s view of Jews as involved in a conspiracy. Two events contributed even more to Pound’s anti-Semitism. First, he set sail for America in April in hopes of meeting Roosevelt and advising him about Douglas and Gesell. Pound was also worried about the start of another war and wanted to keep America out. He arrived in New York in April and later traveled to Washington, D.C. “He had come over hoping to meet Roosevelt and certain members of Congress. He would tell them what to do about the national economy and international policy.” [179]   Pound’s visit was not greeted with much success. He visited Senator Borah’s office three times and often waited two or three hours; the senator spent twenty minutes with him.[180]   The trip reinforced the idea that Pound should return to Italy and call it home, a place where his ideas were heard and where he was appreciated as a poet and economist. The second event that fueled Pound’s hatred towards the Jews was the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Redman notes that “the invasion of Poland represented a failure for Pound of twenty years’ effort to understand the economic causes of conflicts in order to try to prevent them.”[181]   Pound had written about the causes of war and thought he had discovered a means to control debt through Social Credit and stamp scrip. The advent of World War II must have been a crushing blow to him, and at this point in time, Pound’s blame turned on the Jews. “Pound’s overt and virulent anti-Semitism . . . seems tied to the start of the Second World War.”[182]   Pound’s frustrations were more focused upon certain Jews or what he called “big” Jews because he believed that these Jews started this war in order to create debt, and they would profit from the war through usury by lending money at a high interest rate to governments that needed money to fund the war; thus, these “big” Jews would control governments.

      Pound’s notion of a Jewish conspiracy gradually evolved. It started from reading works by Arthur Kitson in 1933, William Pelley in 1934, Father Coughlin in 1936, and Willis Overholser in 1938. During the years 1935-1939, Pound started to investigate and question the relation between Jews and usury. By 1939, the Jews became a scapegoat for Pound as he blamed them for starting World War II. Pound believed that World War II was part of an ongoing battle against usury, a practice he associated with the Jews.


1.   Pound, “Canto XLV,”“ The Cantos of Ezra Pound, 13th edition (New York: New Directions Publishing Corp., 1995), 230.

2.   Dan V. Segre, “The Emancipation Of Jews In Italy,” Paths of Emancipation: Jews, States, and Citizenship, eds. Pierre Birnbaum and Ira Katznelson (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), 208.

3.   Ibid., 210.

4.   Ibid., 211.

5.   Ibid.

6.   Meir Michaelis, Mussolini and The Jews: German-Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy 1922-1945 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1978), 12-13.

7.   Ibid., 32.

8.   Ibid., 13.

9.   Ibid., 8.

10.   Carroll F. Terrell, A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 91.

11.   Pound, “Canto XXII,” The Cantos of Ezra Pound, 105.

12.   Ibid., “Wanted,” Ezra Pound’s Poetry and Prose: Contributions to Periodicals, eds. Lea Baechler, A. Walton Litz, and James Longenbach (New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1991), 5:58.

13.   Ibid.

14.   Ibid., “The Damn Fool Bureaukrats,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 5:31.

15.   Ibid.

16.   Ibid., “Why the 1920s Went to Hades (Or ‘As You Like It’),” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 5:339.

17.   Pound, “The Exile III.” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 5:17.

18.   Ibid.

19.   Ibid., “Letter to S[amuel] P[utnam] re/poem ‘As Browning would have said,’” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 5:312.

20.   Leon Surette, Pound in Purgatory: From Economic Radicalism to Anti-Semitism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press), 82.

21.   Humphrey Carpenter, A Serious Character: The Life of Ezra Pound (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1988), 491.

22.   Ibid., 491.

23.   William Chace, The Political Identities of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1973), 63.

24.   Fred Moramarco, “Italy and Ezra Pound’s Politics,” San Jose Studies 12, no. 3 (Fall 1986): 32.

25.   Pound, Jefferson and/or Mussolini (New York: Liverwright, 1936), 69.

26.   Ibid., 94.

27.   Roger Griffin, ed. Fascism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 16.

28.   Ibid.

29.   Pound, Jefferson and/or Mussolini, 99.

30.   Ibid., 108.

31.   Griffin, 16.

32.   Ibid., 50-51.

33.   Griffin, 50.

34.   Anthony Woodward, “Ezra Pound, Mussolini and Fascism,” Standpunte 36, no. 3 (June 1983): 21.

35.   Pound, “By All Means Patriotic,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 5:377.

36.   Ibid., “Canto XXXVIII,” The Cantos of Ezra Pound, 13th edition, 192.

37.   Ibid., “Abject and Utter Farce,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:89.

38.   Ibid., Jefferson and/or Mussolini, 61.

39.   Ibid., 72.

40.   Ibid., The Correspondence of Ezra Pound and Senator William Borah, ed. Sarah C. Holmes (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001), ix.

41.   Ibid., 22.

42.   Ibid., 23.

43.   Ibid.

44.   Ibid., 7.

45.   Ibid., 5.

46.   Ibid., 28.

47.   Ibid., 29.

48.   Ibid.,3.

49.   Surette, 176-77.

50.   Chace, 61.

51.   Pound, “Stamp Scrip,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:86.

52.   Tim Redman, Ezra Pound and Italian Fascism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 127.

53.   Pound, “Canto LXXIV,” The Cantos of Ezra Pound, 461.

54.   Pound, “Commentary on W. C. Williams", Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:138.

55.   Ibid., “Declaration,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:146.

56.   Joseph S. Davis, The World Between the Wars, 1919-39: An Economist’s View (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1975), 1999.

57.   Randall E. Parker, Reflections on the Great Depression (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2002), 6.

58.   Davis, 224.

59.   Ibid., 231.

60.   Ibid., 231-232.

61.   Ibid., 259.

62.   Parker, 8.

63.   Davis, 261.

64.   Ibid., 273.

65.   Parker, 7.

66.   Davis, 289.

67.   Ibid., 279.

68.   Ibid., 226.

69.   Redman, 57.

70.   Surette, 215. Note: Surette cites this letter from the Pound Papers, which are housed at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.

71.   Arthur Kitson, The Bankers’ Conspiracy! Which Started the World Crisis (London: Sidney Kiek & Son, Ltd., 1933), 25.

72.   Ibid., 25-26.

73.   Redman, 58.

74.   Kitson, 27.

75.   Ibid., 28.

76.   Ibid., 98.

77.   Michaelis, 60.

78.   Ibid, 78.

79.   Surette, 241-242.

80.   Ibid.

81.   Ibid., 245.

82.   Ibid.

83.   Pound, “Ezra Pound, Silvershirt,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7: 35.

84.   Ibid.

85.   Ibid., 36.

86.   Ibid., The Correspondence of Ezra Pound and Senator William Borah, 7.

87.   Ibid., 15.

88.   Ibid., 8.

89.   Ibid., 7.

90.   Ibid., 18.

91.   Ibid., 23.

92.   Barry Ahearn, Pound/Zukofsky: Selected Letters of Ezra Pound and Louis Zukofsky (New York: New Directions, 1987), 157.

93.   Surette, 246.

94.   Ahearn, 177.

95.   Surette, 241.

96.   Max Wykes-Joyce, “Some Considerations Arising from Ezra Pound’s Conception of the Banks,” Ezra Pound: A collection of essays edited by Peter Russell to be presented to Ezra Pound on his sixty-fifth birthday, ed. Peter Russell (London: Peter Neville Limited, 1950), 226.

97.   Pound, “Ecclesiastical History (Or the work always falls on papa),” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:186.

98.   Ibid., “Mug’s Game,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:243.

99.   Ibid., “American Notes,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:300.

100.   David A. Moody, “’EP with Two Pronged Fork of Terror and Cajolery’: The Construction of his Anti-Semitism (Up to 1939),” Paideuma 29, no. 3 (Winter 2000): 72.

101.   Pound, “’VU,’ No. 380, and the Subsequent Issues,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:333.

102.   Ibid., “American Notes,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:343.

103.   Exodus 23:25 King James Version.

104.   Leviticus 25: 35-37 King James Version.

105.   Deuteronomy 23:19-20 King James Version.

106.   Pound, “Anti-Semitism,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:56.

107.   Ibid., “Ezra Pound Asks Questions,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 6:335.

108.   Ibid., “Canto XLV,” The Cantos of Ezra Pound, 229-230.

109.   Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), 315.

110.   Kenner, 430.

111.   Kenner, 408.

112.   Pound, “Canto XLV,” The Cantos of Ezra Pound, 229.

113.   Carroll F. Terrell, A Companion to The Cantos of Ezra Pound(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 178-79. Also Pound’s Guide to Kulcher, 27.

114.   Pound, “Canto XLV,” The Cantos of Ezra Pound, 229-230.

115.   Terrell, 179.

116.   J.E. Zimmerman, Dictionary of Classical Mythology (NewYork: Harper & Row, 1980), 93.

117.   Pound, “Canto XLV,” 231.

118.   It is interesting to note that in the original “Canto XLV,” which was published in Prosperityin 1936, there is not a definition of usury at the end of the poem; however, in the New Directions Edition (the thirteenth edition, published in 1995), Pound’s definition of usury follows the canto.

119.   Pound, “Canto XLV,” 230.

120.   Kenner, 407.

121.   Ibid., 410-411.

122.   Pound, “The Language of Money,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:85.

123.   Ibid., 88.

124.   Ibid.

125.   Ibid., “Banks,” Selected Prose 1909-1965: Ezra Pound, ed. William Cookson (New York: New Directions Books, 1973), 270.

126.   Ibid.

127.   William Chace, The Political Identities of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1973), 58-59.

128.   Paul Morrison, The Poetics of Fascism: Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Paul de Man (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 52.

129.   Pound, “Banks,” Selected Prose 1909-1965: Ezra Pound, 270.

130.   Ibid.

131.   Terrell, 183.

132.   Ibid., “Italy’s Frame-up,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:23.

133.   Pound, “New Italy’s Challenge,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:51.

134.   Donald Warren, Radio Priest: Charles Coughlin, the Father of Hate Radio ( New York: The Free Press, 1996), 2.

135.   Ibid., 3.

136.   Surette, 261-62.

137.   Pound, Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:33.

138.   Warren, 102.

139.   Victor C. Ferkiss, “Populist Influences on American Fascism,” Western Political Quarterly 10, no. 2 (June 1957): 350.

140.   Ibid.

141.   Ibid.

142.   Ibid., 351.

143.   Ibid.

144.   Surette, 262.

145.   Pound, “American Notes,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:41.

146.   Rev. Charles E. Coughlin, Money! Questions and Answers, (Royal Oak: The National Union for Social Justice, 1936), 160.

147.   Ibid., 82.

148.   Ibid., 34.

149.   Ferkiss, 362.

150.   Ferkiss, 361.

151.   Ferkiss, “Ezra Pound and American Fascism.” The Journal of Politics 17, no. 2 (May 1955): 173.

152.   Ibid., 176.

153.   See Chapter One for a discussion of Populism and anti-Semitism.

154.   Lawrence Goodwyn, The Populist Movement: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), 48-49.

155.   Pound, “The Revolution Betrayed,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:280.

156.   Ibid., “Infamy of Taxes,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:333.

157.   Ibid., “Symposium—I. Consegna,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:337-338.

158.   Ibid., “USURY,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:424.

159.   Benjamin, Nelson. The Idea of Usury: From Tribal Brotherhood to Universal Otherhood. Second Edition (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1969), 4.

160.   Ibid., 6.

161.   Ibid.

162.   Ibid., 6-7.

163.   Ibid., 7-8.

164.   See Chapter 4 for a discussion regarding Pound’s many denials of anti-Semitism.

165.   Moody, 74.

166.   Michaelis, 125.

167.   Ibid., 126.

168.   Pound, Guide to Kulchur (Norfolk: New Direction, 1952), 42.

169.   Lewis N. Dembitz and Joseph Jacobs, “Usury,” The Jewish Encyclopedia [database online].; available from Jewish Encyclopedia.com, 2002.

170.   Ibid.

171.   Pound, “Slice of Life (Fable),” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:418.

172.   Chace, 74-75.

173.   Pound, Guide to Kulchur, 134.

174.   Ibid., “From Italy,” Pound’s Poetry and Prose, 7:178.

175.   Cookson, “Introductory Textbook,” 160.

176.   Surette, 254.

177.   Willis Overholser, A Short Review and Analysis of the History of Money in the United States (Libertyville: Progress Publishing Concern, 1936), 14.

178.   These references will be further discussed in Chapter Three.

179.   James Laughlin, Pound As Wuz, (Saint Paul: Graywolf Press, 1985), 19.

180.   Pound, The Correspondence of Ezra Pound and Senator William Borah, 80.

181.   Redman, 191.

182.   Ibid., 194.

see also:

Pound’s Early Years, 1885-1924: The Evolution of a Suburban Prejudice
[FlashPoint 10]

Pound in Italy, 1924-1939: The Progression of Pound's Anti-Semitism
[FlashPoint 11 Pound Extra]

[FlashPoint 11 Pound Extra]

Pound's Anti-Semitism at St. Elizabeths: 1945-1958
[FlashPoint 9]