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John Kasper and Ezra Pound


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Invitation to a KKK Rally 1. Kasper's Mission 2. The Impact of Agassiz 3. The "Make It New" Bookstore 4. From McCarthy to Brown 5. The Thomas Hart Benton Award, John Randolph and States' Rights: Cantos 88 and 89 6. Kasper Moves to Georgetown 7. The Alabama Campaign 8. Crommelin, Del Valle and Canto 105: A "Divigation" 9. Summer 1956: The Seaboard White Citizen's Council, Virginians on Guard! and the Charlottesville Campaign 10. Kasper in Clinton and Nashville 11. Splinter Parties 12. Pound and Kasper Exposed 13. Pound Released 14. Pound's Legacy on the Right Bibliography Index

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The first comprehensive study of Pound's extensive correspondence with far-right activist John Kasper and his engagement with segregationist politics in Civil Rights-era America.

About the Author

Alec Marsh is Professor of English at Muhlenberg College, Pennsylvania, USA. He is the author of Ezra Pound (2011), and Money & Modernity: Pound, Williams and the Spirit of Jefferson (1998).


Author of an eponymous biography of Pound (2011) and Money and Modernity (CH, Mar'99, 36-3789)-the latter the best book available on Pound's economic ideas-Marsh (Muhlenberg College) here demonstrates that John Kasper (an anti-Semitic admirer of Hitler and a segregationist), who has been dismissed by most Pound biographers as a right-wing nut who misunderstood Pound's work, was actually an astute reader of Pound and worked hard to put Pound's ideas into political action. Kasper, whose letters to Pound run to 400 pages, was jailed several times for inciting violent opposition to school integration in the 1950s. Pound's anti-Semitism is well known, but the multiculturalism of his Cantos has obscured the intensity of the racism he learned from Louis Agassiz-a racism focused on the dangers of racial 'amalgamation' and the resultant 'decay' of racial purity. Marsh shows that Pound endorsed Kasper's activities and agreed that the civil rights struggle was part of a Jewish/communist conspiracy that had infiltrated the US government. Marsh has made an important addition to Pound scholarship. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. * CHOICE *
Marsh's study is a vitally important one ... [A] timely and very valuable contribution to the ongoing debate about Pound's politics. * Review of English Studies *
John Kasper and Ezra Pound is a crucial book, not only for the study of a the life and work of Ezra Pound but for those who want to understand the rage of American antigovernment militants ... [Marsh] follows Kasper almost day by day through the late 1950s, and in so doing provides a truly unique portrait of a freelance racist moving through the South as desegregation began. Given this, the book is as valuable as a ground-level study of radical resistance to civil rights, and the sometimes unlikely theories behind that resistance, as it is as a contribution to Pound studies. * Make It New *
Drawing on unpublished documents and the rich correspondence between the two, this volume chronicles the incredible story of [Kasper's] relationship with the poet [Pound]. * La Stampa (Bloomsbury translation) *
The book's erudition and exceptionally detailed index are to be commended, and the argument that literary studies of McCarthyism must include consideration of Pound seems impossible to overlook. This sets Marsh's work beside important recent work ... Marsh's book not only builds on Pound scholarship but cements the value and rapid development of Bloomsbury's Historicizing Modernism series. * This Year's Work in English Studies *

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