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

2. On what does Dr. David J. Rossman think modern Americans rely too heavily?

3. What promise did Upton Sinclair make to his supporters during his run for governor of California?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Yip Harburg find his way to making music?

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

3. How did the effects of the Crash become apparent in Terkel's parents' business?

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

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

6. How did Mrs. Winston Roberts of Chicago survive the Depression?

7. How did the Bonus March end?

8. Why was psychoanalysis largely ineffective in the Depression?

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

10. What does Phyllis Mortimer do when her family falls on hard times in the 1930's?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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 1930's, as a result of the abject poverty and of Prohibition, became an era of romanticized criminality. Write an essay on the popularity of illegal behavior at this time. What was the nature of the industry dedicated to circumventing Prohibition laws? Why were figures like John Dillinger and Machine Gun Kelly folk heroes for robbing the banks? To what extent were they enacting public disgust with failed institutions?

(see the answer keys)

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