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

2. In what war did the Bonus marchers fight?

3. What term best describes the nature of the changes that happened after the 1929 Crash, from Terkel's perspective?

4. What metaphor does Arthur Robinson use to describe Wall Street in the 1920's?

5. What did Bob Leary's father do during much of the Depression to avoid going crazy?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why was psychoanalysis largely ineffective in the Depression?

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

6. What resources for the transient did Ed Paulson discover during the Depression?

7. Who was Martin Dies?

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

9. How does Max Shachtman explain the decline of Communism's popularity in America?

10. What strange dichotomy exists in Stanley Kell's interview in Honor and Humiliation?

Essay 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

Studs Terkel interviews enough people who lived through the Depression that certain archetypes begin to emerge over the course of the book. Write an essay in which you choose an interview that fits each archetype:

Part 1) Choose an interview from an individual who lost wealth in the Depression and discovered a talent at making money through hard work. Where did this person turn to make money? What did he or she discover about society that this person did not know about before? What is this person's worldview after the Depression?

Part 2) Choose an individual who is disappointed by the fact that the country was not largely radicalized by the Depression. To what cultural-political ideology does this person subscribe? What was his or her personal experience during the 1930's? What hope does this person have for the future of America?

Part 3) Choose an individual who lived in a bubble of comfort in the Depression and was not aware of widespread suffering. What was the nature of the bubble in which this person lived? What is his or her impression of the Depression?

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?

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