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 demagogic figure of the 1930's did Dawn McCullough despise?

2. How did Phyllis Mortimer's brother feel about her working in the 1930's?

3. In Man and Boy, what does Clifford Burke credit with black men's survival in the Depression?

4. According to Doc Graham, what was the only good thing Roosevelt did?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Who is Bob La Follette?

7. How did Blackie Gold end up maintaining national forests in the 1930's?

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

9. How did the jazz community take care of its own in the Depression?

10. How did the Bonus March end?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the tactic used by union supporters in the 1930's Rust Belt. How did they effectively shut down plants, stopping the introduction of scabs and limiting the union-busting? What kind of press did these strikes get, and how was Governor Frank Murphy of Michigan leveled by these events? What effect did the passage of the Wagner Act have on the ability of workers to unionize?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

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