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

2. What did Terkel seek out en route to his university?

3. How did Dr. Lewis Andreas help strikers in Chicago in 1937?

4. In Hard Travelin', what does Peggy Terry think would happen if another Depression happened today?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How did a small community develop around the Ford plant strike in Detroit?

4. How did William Benton make his fortune?

5. How does Christopher Lasch explain the possibility of a socialist revolt in the 1930's?

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

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

8. What argument is Terkel making about the significance of the Depression to modern times in the book?

9. What did the Depression teach Virginia Durr?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

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