Hard Times; an Oral History of the Great Depression Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What about modern America mystifies Diana Morgan?

2. What did Terkel's parents do for a living before the Depression?

3. Where did Harburg work before the Depression?

4. How did Dr. Lewis Andreas help strikers in Chicago in 1937?

5. What did many of Arthur Robinson's friends say was the only reason to have money?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did William Benton make his fortune?

2. How was Dr. Lewis Andreas converted to union support in 1937?

3. How was Robin Langston's family affected by the Depression?

4. What is Doc Graham's attitude toward Franklin Roosevelt?

5. During the Depression, what did Terkel do instead of becoming a lawyer?

6. What did Arthur Robinson experience after the Wall Street Crash of 1929?

7. How did the Bonus March end?

8. How do interviewees who were young in the 1930's realize something bad happened in the country?

9. Describe E.D. Nixon's struggle to unionize sleeping car porters.

10. How did hobos get by during the Depression?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the Horatio Alger narrative and how the Great Depression forced individuals to reassess the legitimacy of it. Which interviewees in the text subscribed to the strive-and-succeed philosophy of Alger? Did any of them succeed? Of those who failed, what elements in the 1930's work environment proved incompatible with the rags-to-riches mythology? What did these people discover as a new philosophy?

Essay Topic 2

Over the course of Hard Times, Studs Terkel interviews several individuals who held powerful elected positions during the Depression. These men took different positions on the issue of the day, and these positions were best expressed in terms of their support or opposition to FDR. Write an essay about these three figures. What did they think of FDR and the New Deal? How did each attain the power they enjoyed in the 1930's? Was each able to make a definitive mark on the country at this time?

Part 1) C. Wright Patman

Part 2) Stanley Fish

Part 3) Alf Landon

Essay Topic 3

The Franklin Roosevelt administration was a hothouse of young minds and genius fiscal conservatives. Write an essay about the crucible of ideas that this administration fostered. What initial ideas came out of this group, and how were they killed out of the gate? What politicking occurred within the administration, in terms of currying favor with the President? What actions did FDR take that alienated huge swaths of his supporters?

(see the answer keys)

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