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 was the principal desire driving black protest in the 1930's according to Horace Cayton?

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

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

4. What issue does Stanley Kell surprisingly support?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How were the prisons affected by the Depression?

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

8. Who was Martin Dies?

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

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

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

Write an essay about the far left in America. What were its expectations when the stock market collapsed in 1929? Did it expect that the American capitalist system was completely defunct? How did events in Europe throughout the 1930's affect the coalition of far left groups in the United States? What occurred politically and economically in America that rendered the left toothless by the time World War II started?

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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