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. Why would hobos put marks on people's houses with chalk?

2. What was the occupational community of which Jimmy Partland was a part, that lent back and forth regularly?

3. What strange job does Terkel get right after college?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How was Robin Langston's family affected by the Depression?

2. How did the Bonus March end?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. How did hobos get by during the Depression?

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

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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