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. In what scant costume did Sally Rand enter the Beaux Arts ball?

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

3. At the end of High Life, what does Judy blame for the Depression?

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

5. What does Diane, the young journalist in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, resent about her parent's fixation on the Depression?

Short Essay Questions

1. During the Depression, what did Terkel do instead of becoming a lawyer?

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

3. What does Dr. Martin Bickham discover about the American drive to work through his relief work in the 1930's?

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

5. Describe the incident with the Iowa Judge in The Father Is the Man?

6. What strange and dangerous episode regarding congressional testimony does C. Wright Patman make?

7. How did Jack Kirkland become famous during the Depression?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Among the strangest interviews in the book are those dedicated to the plight of farmers in the Midwest, in particular the sections regarding reactions to the price of corn. Write an essay about how the fluctuating price of corn led to massive wastes of foodstuffs. What did farmers do in an attempt to boost the price of corn? What other products did they turn to when the price of corn plummeted to absurdly low levels? What absurd and, later, sensible solutions did the United States government offer?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the young people who are interviewed about the Depression in Hard Times. What information do most of them have about the facts of the 1930's? What current events - those of 1970 - concern these interviewees? How are the concerns of the 1930's connected to the present issues? Discuss how the more politically-active interviewees view the consumerist spirit that was born out of the Depression.

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