Video Sequence

The Video Sequence contains the heading used throughout the film and questions that reflect the content of each section.

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TIME

0:00:00 - 0:03:49 OPENING

  1. Why were people coming to the Pacific Northwest at this time?
  2. What are some comments made about Woody? What is your impression of Woody from these comments?
  3. What was Woody hired to do for the B.P.A.?
  4. Why was this an ideal job for Woody?

0:03:52 - 0:09:03 OPPORTUNITY IN THE FRONT DOOR

  1. Who was Stephen Kahn? Why was he so important to Woody and the success of the project?
  2. What part did Alan Lomax play in Woody being hired for the job with the B.P.A.?
  3. Why did Stephen Kahn tell Woody to keep his mouth shut when he went to the interview with Dr. Raver
0:09:05 - 0:17:00 ON THE VERGE OF BEING IN VERY, VERY HARD CONDITIONS
  1. Woody had some tragic events happen in his boyhood. What were some of these tragedies?
  2. Pete Seeger mentions that Woody is a restless individual. What is the evidence of his restlessness?
  3. Guy Logston, a Smithsonian scholar, said that Woody was involved in politics, but he was not political. He sang for all political groups. What was Woody's interest in these groups?
  4. Why didn't Woody stay in New York and write songs for the radio station and become a success?
  5. Why was it particularly fortunate that Woody got the job with the B.P.A.?
  6. Why was public power such an important issue at this time?
  7. Who was supporting public power?
  8. Who decided whether public power or private power was to be established in a certain area?
0:17:04 - 0:26:50 TWENTY-SIX SONGS IN THIRTY DAY
  1. What was Elmer Buhler's job regarding Woody's assignment?
  2. What places did Elmer take Woody to see?
  3. What people did Woody choose to interview?
  4. The song "Grand Coulee Dam" reflects the prevailing attitudes about the development of the Columbia river at that time. What does the song tell you about the way people felt about the river? Do you think that people feel differently about the river now?
  5. Arlo, Guthrie's son by his second marriage, said Woody thought that his job with the B.PA. was the most worthwhile thing he had ever done. Why do you think that Woody felt this way?

0:26:53 - 0:30:12 YOU EITHER WORKED OR WENT HUNGRY

  1. Aside from the money he was being paid, what do you think inspired
  2. Woody to write the songs that he wrote?
  3. What were the benefits of the dams for the common people?
  4. What were the economic conditions like at this time?
  5. What were some of the dangers inherent in working on the dams and why were men willing to take these risks?
0:30:14 - 0:39:21 YOU GOTTA HAVE THE DISCIPLINE OR YOU GOTTA BE CRAZY
  1. According to Arlo and Mary, what was Woody's work schedule like?
  2. Why did Woody get so absorbed by his work?
  3. What does the incident with Woody's car tell you about his character?
0:39:23 - 0:43:30 THEY ARE MY PEOPLE
  1. What was the Dust Bowl?
  2. What sort of conditions did Dust Bowl refugees find when they arrived in the Pacific Northwest?
  3. According to the song, "Washington Talking Blues," what was the remedy to the hard times in the region at that time?
  4. Who was Woody writing about in the song "Pastures of Plenty"?
0:40:31 - 0:56:30 AFTER ALL, SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE
  1. Why do Woody and Mary separate?
  2. Where did Woody go after he completes his job for the B.P.A.?
  3. Why weren't the songs published right after the job was done?
  4. When were the songs published? What film was produced that featured the songs?
  5. Why did the Secretary of the Interior order the B.PA. to destroy all copies of the films "Hydro" and "The Columbia"?
  6. What honor was given to Woody by the B.P.A.? Why was there so much controversy over it?