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. Why did Win Stracke lose his work as a balladeer?

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

3. According to Dr. David J. Rossman, what did psychoanalysis not acknowledge regarding patient distress in the 1930's?

4. What happened that made Robin Langston realize a crisis had begun in the country?

5. Where did Blackie Gold spend his childhood?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Jerome Zerbe's interview oddly disturbing?

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

3. How did hobos get by during the Depression?

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

5. What was the purpose of the Bonus March?

6. How did the Bonus March end?

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

8. Why was psychoanalysis largely ineffective in the Depression?

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

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

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

During the Depression, the United States government offered amenities to its people that were unheard of in the past: farmland, housing, camps for the indigent. Write an essay about the public reaction to these amenities. How did each of them prove a model of cooperation? To what extent did people view them as a stepping stone to private ownership? Which of these amenities are still in existence? Why did some disappear and others degrade over time?

Essay Topic 3

The Great Depression was a period of time during which large organized movements sought to restructure American society. In a three part essay, discuss how several organized groups went about attempting the recreation of a country:

Part 1) What hole in the union movement did the CIO fill in the 1930's? What tactics did the unions use in the rust belt in order to organize industrial workers? What opposition did they face? How much success did the CIO achieve over the course of the Depression? How did its relationship with the AFL change in this time?

Part 2) How did the American Communist movement surge in popularity during the Hoover years, and how did events in Europe destroy much of its credibility? To what extent did Roosevelt's New Deal destroy its ability to accomplish its goals in the 1930's? What members did it lose after Roosevelt built his coalition?

Part 3) How were both the Catholic Worker and the Wobblies different from the unions and the Communists? What was each group's guiding philosophy? Did either one form a coalition during the Depression? What happened to them after the Depression?

(see the answer keys)

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