Hard Times; an Oral History of the Great Depression Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did many of Arthur Robinson's friends say was the only reason to have money?

2. In a quote in the Introduction, how does the speaker describe the socioeconomic relationship between blacks and whites during the Depression?

3. According to Terkel in the Introduction, what voice dominated the radio alongside Roosevelt's during the Depression?

4. Where did Arthur Robinson keep thousands of dollars during the bank holiday?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Alf Landon recall his 1936 campaign against Roosevelt in the book?

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

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

4. What was Dr. Townsend's contribution to the Depression-era discourse?

5. In the Depression-era Midwest, how did corn prices lead to corn being burned and pigs being slaughtered?

6. According to James Farley, how did Roosevelt alienate members of his own administration?

7. What role did Elsa Ponselle play in the forming of the Teacher's Union?

8. Why does Myrna Loy think she never got to meet Roosevelt in person?

9. What humiliation did Ward James face seeking relief in the 1930's?

10. How did The Cradle Will Rock become a lightning rod of controversy?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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