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. During the Depression, why did farmers systematically stop corn deliveries?

2. What was Dorothea Lange's profession?

3. According to Buddy Blankenship in Sixteen Ton, what did coal companies often pay instead of money?

4. In the 1930's W. Clement Stone made his money selling what?

5. In 1930's Appalachia, what does the KKK assist in setting up?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How were the prisons affected by the Depression?

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

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

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

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

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

10. What humiliation did Ward James face seeking relief in the 1930's?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about the Horatio Alger narrative and how the Great Depression forced individuals to reassess the legitimacy of it. Which interviewees in the text subscribed to the strive-and-succeed philosophy of Alger? Did any of them succeed? Of those who failed, what elements in the 1930's work environment proved incompatible with the rags-to-riches mythology? What did these people discover as a new philosophy?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

The Great Depression was a time during which the most basic and reliable of systems in the United States failed. Though full-on revolution never broke out in America, dissident movements cropped up regularly. Write an essay about three such movements. What issue or injustice gave rise to this spontaneous act of dissidence? How did the movement grow in strength? What happened that finally put an end to the movement?

Part 1) The Bonus March.

Part 2) The opening night of The Cradle Will Rock.

Part 3) The farmers of Iowa stopping corn deliveries.

(see the answer keys)

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