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. What does Wilbur Kane still dislike about Roosevelt?

2. According to Max Shachtman, what international event ended credibility for Communism in the United States?

3. According to Max Shachtman, why was Communism especially vital just before FDR was elected?

4. With what assertion does David Kennedy say he disagrees regarding Roosevelt?

5. What accusation was made against Dr. Francis Townsend in his time?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How did The Cradle Will Rock become a lightning rod of controversy?

3. How did Wilbur Kane experience the Joe Louis fight against Max Schmeling?

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

5. What was Edward Burgess's experience of the 1930's?

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

7. What role did Elsa Ponselle play in the forming of the Teacher's Union?

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

9. According to Horace Cayton, why did black Americans not join the Communists en masse?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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

The Great Depression was a period of time during which large organized movements sought to restructure American society. In a three part essay, discuss how several organized groups went about attempting the recreation of a country:

Part 1) What hole in the union movement did the CIO fill in the 1930's? What tactics did the unions use in the rust belt in order to organize industrial workers? What opposition did they face? How much success did the CIO achieve over the course of the Depression? How did its relationship with the AFL change in this time?

Part 2) How did the American Communist movement surge in popularity during the Hoover years, and how did events in Europe destroy much of its credibility? To what extent did Roosevelt's New Deal destroy its ability to accomplish its goals in the 1930's? What members did it lose after Roosevelt built his coalition?

Part 3) How were both the Catholic Worker and the Wobblies different from the unions and the Communists? What was each group's guiding philosophy? Did either one form a coalition during the Depression? What happened to them after the Depression?

(see the answer keys)

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