Hard Times; an Oral History of the Great Depression Test | Final 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 did C. Wright Patman push for the impeachment of Hoover's Treasury Secretary?

2. What was the principal desire driving black protest in the 1930's according to Horace Cayton?

3. What does Alf Landon say he disliked about Roosevelt's New Deal?

4. According to Fred Thompson, what did Wobblies constantly have to prove they were not?

5. Why did Huey Long not run for president in 1936?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who was Martin Dies?

3. How does Alf Landon recall his 1936 campaign against Roosevelt in the book?

4. According to James Farley, how did Roosevelt alienate members of his own administration?

5. How were the prisons affected by the Depression?

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

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

8. What did Hiram Sherman do after The Cradle Will Rock?

9. How did Neil Schaffner's theatre troupe have to change their business model after the Crash 1929?

10. How much power did coal companies have in the towns they inhabited?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The Roosevelt Administration took special care to ensure that arts professionals were employed in the period of the Great Depression. Write an essay about the changes in the performing arts during this period of history. How did the actors union gain strength at this time? What did traveling sketch troupes have to do to remain viable? To what extent did the theatre begin to tackle more current and controversial subjects? Which famous artists emerged from this crucible?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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