Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 18 Sep 2014, 00:04

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

While historians once propagated the myth that Africans who

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:
Director
Director
avatar
Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 700
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
While historians once propagated the myth that Africans who [#permalink] New post 27 May 2005, 05:59
While historians once propagated the myth that Africans who were brought to the New World as slaves contributed little of value but their labor, a recent study by Amelia Wallace Vernon helps to dispel this notion by showing that Africans introduced rice and the methods of cultivating it into what is now the United States in the early eighteenth century. She uncovered, for example, an 1876 document that details that in 1718 starving French settlers instructed the captain of a slave ship bound for Africa to trade for 400 Africans including some "who know how to cultivate rice". This discovery is especially compelling becuase the introduction of rice into what is now the United States had previously been attributed to French Acadians, who did not arrive until the 1760s.

Vernon interviewed elderly African Americans who helped her discover the locations where until about 1920 their foreberas had cultivated rice. At the heart of Vernon's research is the question of why, in an economy dedicated to mazimizing cotton production, African Americans grew rice. She proposes two intriguing answers, depending on whether the time is before or after the end of slavery. During the period of slavery, plantation owners also ate rice and therefore tolerated or demanded its "After-hours" cultivation on patches of land not suited to cotton. In additon, growing the rice gave the slaves some relief from a system of regimented labor under a filed supervisor, in that they were left alone to work independently.

After the abolotion of slavery, however, rice cultivation is more difficult to explain: African Americans had acquired a preference for eating corn, there was no market for the small amounts of rice they produced, and under the tenant system-- in which farmers surrendered a portion of their crops to the owners of the land they farmed-owners wanted only cotton as payment. The labor required to transform unused land to productive ground would thus seem completely out of proportion to the reward--except that, according to Vernon, the transforming of the land itself was the point.

Vernon suggests that these African Americans did not transform the land as a means to an end, but rahter as an end in itself. In order words, they did not tranform the land in order to grow rice-for the reulting rice was scarcely worth the effort required to clear the land-but instead transformed the land becaus ethye vieweed land as an extension of self and home and so wished to nurture it and make it their own. In additon to this cultural explanation, Vernon speculates that rice cultivation might also have been a political act, a next step after the emancipation of the slaves: the symbolic claiming of plantation land that the U.S government had promised but failed to parcel off and deed to newly freed African Americans.


27. The author's primary purposein the passage is to
A) describe the efforts of a historian to uncover evidence for a puzzling phenomenon
B) illustrate the historical background of a puzzling phenonmemon
C) present a historian's theories about a puzzling phennomenon
D) criticize the work of previous historians regarding a puzzling phenomenon
E) analyze the effects of a puzzling phenomenon on an economic system.
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 331
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 27 May 2005, 06:38
E.

GA
Director
Director
avatar
Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 700
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 29 May 2005, 06:52
Bumping up this thread. Anyone else??
SVP
SVP
User avatar
Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 1736
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 33 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: RC - African Americans [#permalink] New post 29 May 2005, 07:12
for me, it is clear B. if needed, explain later.

gmataquaguy wrote:
27. The author's primary purposein the passage is to

A) describe the efforts of a historian to uncover evidence for a puzzling phenomenon
B) illustrate the historical background of a puzzling phenonmemon
C) present a historian's theories about a puzzling phennomenon
D) criticize the work of previous historians regarding a puzzling phenomenon
E) analyze the effects of a puzzling phenomenon on an economic system.

Last edited by HIMALAYA on 29 May 2005, 15:29, edited 1 time in total.
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 854
Location: Hyderabad
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 29 May 2005, 07:25
will choose A for what it is!
SVP
SVP
User avatar
Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 1736
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 33 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 29 May 2005, 21:55
Vithal wrote:
will choose A for what it is!


Vithal,
the passage did not make any efforts to describe the efforts made by the historian except her interviews. now i am even sure that it is B.
SVP
SVP
User avatar
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 2255
Followers: 12

Kudos [?]: 198 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
Re: RC - African Americans [#permalink] New post 29 May 2005, 22:20
Well, I suppose it's worthwhile to at least provide a new answer on top of all the different ones. I'd choose C myself.

This paragraph obviously is about rice cultivation. The slaves started cultivating rice but since they have acquired the taste of corn and did not need to cultivate rice any more after the demolition of the slavery, why do they continue to do it? The paragraph did not focus on how the historian (Vernon) tries to uncover this issue, nor rebutted other explanations to the phenomenon. Rather, it presented the historian's explanation: that they viewed land as an extension of self and home and so wished to nurture it and make it their own.
_________________

Keep on asking, and it will be given you;
keep on seeking, and you will find;
keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.

Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Posts: 854
Location: Hyderabad
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 29 May 2005, 23:01
My Mistake!!

I agree with Hong - C it is!
Director
Director
avatar
Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 700
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 31 May 2005, 05:21
I eliminated AC "C" because the historian proposed "a theory" and not multiple theories.

My AC was "A". Hopefully there will be more discussion about this passage.
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 284
Location: CA, USA
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 31 May 2005, 07:42
I think Vernon indeed proposed two theories, one for:
why African Americans grew rice before the end of slavery ?
Another for:
why do they still grew rice after the end of slavery ?

...
At the heart of Vernon's research is the question of why, in an economy dedicated to mazimizing cotton production, African Americans grew rice. She proposes two intriguing answers, depending on whether the time is before or after the end of slavery.
...

C
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 104
Location: Austin, Texas
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 0

Re: RC - African Americans [#permalink] New post 31 May 2005, 10:34
gmataquaguy wrote:

27. The author's primary purpose in the passage is to
A) describe the efforts of a historian to uncover evidence for a puzzling phenomenon
B) illustrate the historical background of a puzzling phenonmemon
C) present a historian's theories about a puzzling phennomenon
D) criticize the work of previous historians regarding a puzzling phenomenon
E) analyze the effects of a puzzling phenomenon on an economic system.


For a "primary purpose" question, it's helpful to pay attention to the whole entire passage. Note that the Historian Vernon is introduced in the very first paragraph, and is menitoned by name in each subsequent paragraph.

The passage is about the "puzzling phenomenon" of rice cultivation (when other crops would have seemed to be more desirable). But note that the passage is totally about Vernon's take on the subject. This passage is all about one particular historian's view. If you doubt me, re-read the passage with that in mind.

Therefore I'd agreee that this is clearly (C).
Director
Director
avatar
Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 700
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

GMAT Tests User
 [#permalink] New post 31 May 2005, 17:55
Thanks for your input everyone. The OA is C.
  [#permalink] 31 May 2005, 17:55
    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Similar
Topics:
While it was once believed that the sort of psychotherapy AbhilashaAryan 1 15 Oct 2012, 19:39
1 Experts publish their posts in the topic While it was once believed that the sort of psychotherapy GMATD11 5 14 May 2012, 05:34
Where once Vs While once vivektripathi 4 03 Jan 2009, 21:43
Like the 1890s Populists who exalted the rural myth, so nakib77 7 15 Dec 2005, 08:28
Like the 1890s Populists who exalted the rural myth,) so ruhi 10 25 Nov 2004, 12:27
Display posts from previous: Sort by

While historians once propagated the myth that Africans who

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.