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. Where did Blackie Gold spend his childhood?

2. What dubious art did Jerome Zerbe develop in the 1930's?

3. How does Diana Morgan describe herself at the beginning of her interview?

4. What entertainment did Sally Rand invent?

5. What did an industrialist ask Gordon Baxter to destroy for him?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the Bonus March end?

2. Why was psychoanalysis largely ineffective in the Depression?

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

4. How did blues and alcohol play a defining role in Terkel's college years?

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

6. Who is Bob La Follette?

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

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

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

10. How did William Benton make his fortune?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Write an essay about the Appalachian mining communities' attempts to unionize. How was this group of workers facing Depression-style injustice before the Depression started? What type of power did companies wield in Appalachia, and how did they enforce this power? Discuss how normal tension between management and would-be unionizing broke into full war in the 1930's? What was the result?

(see the answer keys)

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