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 Depression-era event terrified social worker Eileen Barth?

2. Aaron Barkham informs the reader of what strange practice of certain clans within the Appalachian Ku Klux Klan?

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

4. What was Paul Draper's occupation during the 1930's?

5. What was Roosevelt trying to prevent with the Bank Holiday?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Describe Harry Hartman's experiences repossessing belongings in the Depression.

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

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

During the Depression, the United States government offered amenities to its people that were unheard of in the past: farmland, housing, camps for the indigent. Write an essay about the public reaction to these amenities. How did each of them prove a model of cooperation? To what extent did people view them as a stepping stone to private ownership? Which of these amenities are still in existence? Why did some disappear and others degrade over time?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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