A Rare Recording of Ezra Pound

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Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (October 30, 1885 - November 1, 1972), born in what is now Hailey, Idaho, was a major American figure in the early modernist poetry movement, and a fascist collaborator in Italy during World War II. Angered by the carnage of World War I, Pound blamed the war on finance capitalism, which he called "usury". He moved to Italy in 1924, and through the 1930s and 1940s promoted an economic theory known as social credit, wrote for publications owned by the British fascist Sir Oswald Mosley, embraced Benito Mussolini's fascism, and expressed support for Adolf Hitler. During World War II and the Holocaust in Italy, he made hundreds of paid radio broadcasts for the Italian government attacking the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt and, above all, Jews. He was arrested in 1945 by American forces in Italy on charges of treason, spending months in a U.S. military camp in Pisa--including three weeks in an outdoor steel cage. Deemed unfit to stand trial, he was incarcerated in St. Elizabeth's psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., for over 12 years. After a campaign by his fellow writers, he was released from St. Elizabeth's in 1958 and lived in Italy until his death in 1972.