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 and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Ray Wax flee his parents home?

2. What does the young man in the final interview of Arrests and Other Running Sores do for a living?

3. At the end of his interview, Horace Cayton discusses why black Americans never joined what group en masse?

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

5. According to Buddy Blankenship in Sixteen Ton, what was the state of coal miners before the Depression?

Essay 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 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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

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