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. Who was the one black student in Terkel's college class?

2. In her interview, what does Diana Morgan say never interested her?

3. What recollection does Diana Morgan have that draws tears from her?

4. What did Slim Collier's father do before the Depression?

5. What advertising outlet did William Benton exploit, making him his fortune?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Terkel explain his purposes in writing Hard Times?

4. Who is Bob La Follette?

5. How did the "southern belle" Diane Morgan become socially conscious in the 1930's?

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

7. How did William Benton make his fortune?

8. Why was psychoanalysis largely ineffective in the Depression?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on the psychological effects that the joblessness of the Great Depression has on men in America. What do interviewees recall their fathers doing to pass time and feel useful? Why did men of this era refuse to take government relief and turn so often to alcohol instead? How was America's psychiatric profession unprepared to deal with the effects of joblessness on the population? What obvious causation were psychiatrists ignoring?

Essay Topic 2

Studs Terkel's Hard Times is an oral history, meaning that it relies entirely on the conflagration of differing ideas. By including voices that speak from different experiences of the Depression, Terkel makes the debate the central focus of the history. Write an essay on this debate in three parts:

Part 1) The topic of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's success as a president is among the most controversial in the book. What are the arguments for his saving the United States? What are the arguments against such an assertion? How do these arguments reveal the dueling ideologies in America both in the 1930's and in 1970?

Part 2) Terkel interviews individuals who suffered greatly in the Depression and those who did not, including some who actually prospered in the desperation. How do the two groups' perceptions of the 1930's differ? What facts existed to support both a horrific and a majestic impression of the Depression years?

Part 3) Terkel interviews not only those who lived through the Depression but also their children and grandchildren. How does he juxtapose the worldviews of those who survived the poverty with those who did not? How do the younger generations see the Depression? Can they understand the residual effects it left with those who survived?

Essay Topic 3

The federal government went through a series of processes in its attempt to react to the 1929 crash of the stock market and to stem the sinking of the national economy. Write an essay about these attempts at governmental assistance and how they did or did not succeed:

Part 1) How did the Hoover administration react in the immediate aftermath of Black Tuesday? Discuss what sort of governmental initiatives went into place, and whether the administration succeeded in stemming the decline or allaying fears in the general populace. What unrest cropped up at this time?

Part 2) Discuss the first steps taken by the Roosevelt administration upon its arrival into office. What, specifically, was the NRA? What powers did this administrative body offer Roosevelt to place limits on the private sector? Why was the NRA preemptively shut down soon after its creation?

Part 3) How did the Works Progress Administration prove to be more effective at stemming destitution than simple relief? What did this desire of Americans for work programs say about the country's work ethic? What were some material results of the WPA?

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