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. As described in The Farmer Is the Man, how did a mob respond to a judge who was foreclosing on homes in Iowa?

2. Why was Hiram Sherman removed from Equity leadership?

3. How was public housing viewed differently by the public in the 1930's than it is today?

4. According to Scoop Lankford, when did conditions finally improve in the prison?

5. What Depression-era event terrified social worker Eileen Barth?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. In the Depression-era Midwest, how did corn prices lead to corn being burned and pigs being slaughtered?

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

7. How were the prisons affected by the Depression?

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

9. According to Elizabeth Wood, how did public housing develop the stigma it has today?

10. Who was Martin Dies?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Studs Terkel mentions throughout the book that the Roosevelt administration had a vested interest in chronicling the realities of the Depression as it was happening. Write an essay about three of these historical/artistic documents. What specific component of the Depression experience did each highlight? What was its medium? How was it received at the time and since? Why did the Roosevelt administration avoid publicizing that it was funding this sort of archiving work?

Part 1) Tobacco Road.

Part 2) The River.

Part 3) Dorothea Lange's portraits.

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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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