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. Who does Myrna Loy suspect of being the force behind her inability to meet FDR?

2. What does Emma Tiller say in her interview is as important as money?

3. In what country did William Patterson study economics for a time?

4. What was the Actors Union's response to The Cradle Will Rock?

5. Why did Ray Wax flee his parents home?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Dr. Martin Bickham discover about the American drive to work through his relief work in the 1930's?

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

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

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

7. What strange and dangerous episode regarding congressional testimony does C. Wright Patman make?

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

9. How did Ray Wax's life disillusion him to the idea of strive-and-succeed?

10. What was the most controversial component of the New Deal?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

A recurring question in Hard Times is how America would handle another Depression, were one to occur. Write an essay on this question. What experiences in the 1930's inform the interviewees who answer a question regarding America's ability to handle hard times? How close do these people think the US came to collapse? Do they, by and large, think that America is stronger or weaker as a system and culture now?

(see the answer keys)

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