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 Edward Burgess discuss buying at the beginning of his interview in Merely Passing Through?

2. What writer did Ray Wax take as his model during the Depression?

3. According to Emma Teiller, why did armed men enter a relief house in her neighborhood?

4. Why does Billy Green say he was unaffected by the Depression?

5. What popular American novel did Jack Kirkland adapt into a successful play?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Who was Martin Dies?

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What safety concerns pervaded mines in the 1930's?

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

Write an essay on the psychological effects that the joblessness of the Great Depression has on men in America. What do interviewees recall their fathers doing to pass time and feel useful? Why did men of this era refuse to take government relief and turn so often to alcohol instead? How was America's psychiatric profession unprepared to deal with the effects of joblessness on the population? What obvious causation were psychiatrists ignoring?

Essay Topic 3

Over the course of Hard Times, Studs Terkel interviews several individuals who held powerful elected positions during the Depression. These men took different positions on the issue of the day, and these positions were best expressed in terms of their support or opposition to FDR. Write an essay about these three figures. What did they think of FDR and the New Deal? How did each attain the power they enjoyed in the 1930's? Was each able to make a definitive mark on the country at this time?

Part 1) C. Wright Patman

Part 2) Stanley Fish

Part 3) Alf Landon

(see the answer keys)

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