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 is Cesar Chavez best known as?

2. What unorthodox job did Phyllis Mortimer take when her family fell short of money in the 1930's?

3. According to Terkel, what increased among patrons of his parent's business after the Crash?

4. What happened to one of Daisy Singer's favorite parks during the Depression?

5. How did Jim Sheridan travel to the Bonus March?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why was psychoanalysis largely ineffective in the Depression?

2. How did William Benton make his fortune?

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

4. What does Peggy Terry have to say about race and the Depression?

5. How did a small community develop around the Ford plant strike in Detroit?

6. What does Slim Collier's discussion of her father say about the effect unemployment has on men?

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

8. How did blues and alcohol play a defining role in Terkel's college years?

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

10. What connection is made between fear and the Depression in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Roosevelt Administration took special care to ensure that arts professionals were employed in the period of the Great Depression. Write an essay about the changes in the performing arts during this period of history. How did the actors union gain strength at this time? What did traveling sketch troupes have to do to remain viable? To what extent did the theatre begin to tackle more current and controversial subjects? Which famous artists emerged from this crucible?

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

Among the strangest interviews in the book are those dedicated to the plight of farmers in the Midwest, in particular the sections regarding reactions to the price of corn. Write an essay about how the fluctuating price of corn led to massive wastes of foodstuffs. What did farmers do in an attempt to boost the price of corn? What other products did they turn to when the price of corn plummeted to absurdly low levels? What absurd and, later, sensible solutions did the United States government offer?

(see the answer keys)

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