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Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and

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Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 31 Jan 2018, 02:25
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The Official Guide for GMAT Review 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: RC 129 ~ 134
Page: 390

Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and experienced before it is studied, interpreted, and read. These latter activities have their own history, of course, which may impinge in unexpected ways on public events. It is difficult to predict when “new pasts” will overturn established historical interpretations and change the course of history.

In the fall of 1954, for example, C. Vann Woodward delivered a lecture series at the University of Virginia which challenged the prevailing dogma concerning the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation in the South. He argued that the Jim Crow laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries not only codified traditional practice but also were a determined effort to erase the considerable progress made by Black people during and after Reconstruction in the 1870’s. This revisionist view of Jim Crow legislation grew in part from the research that Woodward had done for the NAACP legal campaign during its preparation for Brown v. Board of Education. The Supreme Court had issued its ruling in this epochal desegregation case a few months before Woodward’s lectures.

The lectures were soon published as a book, The Strange Career of Jim Crow. Ten years later, in a preface to the second revised edition, Woodward confessed with ironic modesty that the first edition “had begun to suffer under some of the handicaps that might be expected in a history of the American Revolution published in 1776.” That was a bit like hearing Thomas Paine apologize for the timing of his pamphlet Common Sense, which had a comparable impact. Although Common Sense also had a mass readership, Paine had intended to reach and inspire: he was not a historian, and thus not concerned with accuracy or the dangers of historical anachronism. Yet, like Paine, Woodward had an unerring sense of the revolutionary moment, and of how historical evidence could undermine the mythological tradition that was crushing the dreams of new social possibilities. Martin Luther King, Jr., testified to the profound effect of The Strange Career of Jim Crow on the civil rights movement by praising the book and quoting it frequently.



1. The “new pasts” mentioned in line 6 can best be described as the

(A) occurrence of events extremely similar to past events
(B) history of the activities of studying, interpreting, and reading new historical writing
(C) change in people’s understanding of the past due to more recent historical writing
(D) overturning of established historical interpretations by politically motivated politicians
(E) difficulty of predicting when a given historical interpretation will be overturned



2. It can be inferred from the passage that the “prevailing dogma” (line 10) held that

(A) Jim Crow laws were passed to give legal status to well-established discriminatory practices in the South
(B) Jim Crow laws were passed to establish order and uniformity in the discriminatory practices of different southern states
(C) Jim Crow laws were passed to erase the social gains that Black people had achieved since Reconstruction
(D) the continuity of racial segregation in the South was disrupted by passage of Jim Crow laws
(E) the Jim Crow laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were passed to reverse the effect of earlier Jim Crow laws



3. Which of the following is the best example of writing that is likely to be subject to the kinds of “handicaps” referred to in line 27?

(A) A history of an auto manufacturing plant written by an employee during an auto-buying boom
(B) A critique of a statewide school-desegregation plan written by an elementary school teacher in that state
(C) A newspaper article assessing the historical importance of a United States President written shortly after the President has taken office
(D) A scientific paper describing the benefits of a certain surgical technique written by the surgeon who developed the technique
(E) Diary entries narrating the events of a battle written by a soldier who participated in the battle



4. The passage suggests that C. Vann Woodward and Thomas Paine were similar in all of the following ways EXCEPT:

(A) Both had works published in the midst of important historical events.
(B) Both wrote works that enjoyed widespread popularity.
(C) Both exhibited an understanding of the relevance of historical evidence to contemporary issues.
(D) The works of both had a significant effect on events following their publication.
(E) Both were able to set aside worries about historical anachronism in order to reach and inspire.



5. The attitude of the author of the passage toward the work of C. Vann Woodward is best described as one of

(A) respectful regard
(B) qualified approbation
(C) implied skepticism
(D) pointed criticism
(E) fervent advocacy



6. Which of the following best describes the new idea expressed by C. Vann Woodward in his University of Virginia lectures in 1954?

(A) Southern racial segregation was continuous and uniform.
(B) Black people made considerable progress only after Reconstruction.
(C) Jim Crow legislation was conventional in nature.
(D) Jim Crow laws did not go as far in codifying traditional practice as they might have.
(E) Jim Crow laws did much more than merely reinforce a tradition of segregation.


Originally posted by RaviChandra on 05 Jul 2015, 21:14.
Last edited by hazelnut on 31 Jan 2018, 02:25, edited 4 times in total.
Formatted the question.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 17:10
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ShashankDave wrote:
Somebody please help with Q3. I didn't understand the meaning of handicaps even when I read the passage. Please somebody explain the meaning in the passage. Also in the last question, please explain why A is wrong.

Quote:
3. Which of the following is the best example of writing that is likely to be subject to the kinds of “handicaps” referred to in line 27?

(A) A history of an auto manufacturing plant written by an employee during an auto-buying boom
(B) A critique of a statewide school-desegregation plan written by an elementary school teacher in that state
(C) A newspaper article assessing the historical importance of a United States President written shortly after the President has taken office
(D) A scientific paper describing the benefits of a certain surgical technique written by the surgeon who developed the technique
(E) Diary entries narrating the events of a battle written by a soldier who participated in the battle

Quote:
Ten years later, in a preface to the second revised edition, Woodward confessed with ironic modesty that the first edition “had begun to suffer under some of the handicaps that might be expected in a history of the American Revolution published in 1776.”

In this sentence, a "handicap" is a challenge or an obstacle (i.e. "A fear of public speaking is a severe handicap to anyone running for public office.").
In 1776, the American Revolution was in its early stages. It would be difficult to write a history of a revolution while the revolution is still in its early stages. It would be easier to write such a history after the revolution so that you could look back and get the full picture.

Similarly, it would be difficult to assess the historical importance of a US President shortly after that President has taken office (and yes, I'm biting my tongue in a desperate effort keep this forum politically neutral). It would be easier to assess the historical importance of a President after that President's term is over. Hence, choice (C) is the best option.

Quote:
6. Which of the following best describes the new idea expressed by C. Vann Woodward in his University of Virginia lectures in 1954?

(A) Southern racial segregation was continuous and uniform.
(B) Black people made considerable progress only after Reconstruction.
(C) Jim Crow legislation was conventional in nature.
(D) Jim Crow laws did not go as far in codifying traditional practice as they might have.
(E) Jim Crow laws did much more than merely reinforce a tradition of segregation.

As for the last question, refer to the following portion: "In the fall of 1954, for example, C. Vann Woodward delivered a lecture series at the University of Virginia which challenged the prevailing dogma concerning the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation in the South."

Woodward challenged the idea that racial segregation in the South was continuous and uniform. Choice (A) represents the "prevailing dogma" that Woodward challenged, not Woodward's new idea.

I hope that helps!
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Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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Q2, Explained


raveesh1203 wrote:
Need help with Q2 .
According to C. Vann ..Jim crow laws codified traditional practice + effort to erase progress made by black people..

He challenged prevailing dogma when he said this.

So should'nt the prevailing dogma be that jim crows law were passed for uniformity and maintain order ... i.e. option B

Quote:
2. It can be inferred from the passage that the “prevailing dogma” (line 10) held that

To answer this question, let’s take a closer look at the text:

    "In the fall of 1954, for example, C. Vann Woodward delivered a lecture series at the University of Virginia which challenged the prevailing dogma concerning the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation in the South.”

"Concerning" means "about." If I mention that I have a belief concerning cat videos, I haven't told you what the content of my belief is. Maybe I love cat videos, or maybe I hate them. Perhaps I have an interesting theory about cat videos and why they’re so popular. Likewise, when the author mentions “the prevailing dogma concerning the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation in the South," we have learned nothing about what the prevailing dogma was. We only know that there was some dominant belief about the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation in the South. Let's keep reading.

    "He argued that the Jim Crow laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries not only codified traditional practice but also were a determined effort to erase the considerable progress made by Black people during and after Reconstruction in the 1870’s.

Aha! Vann Woodward argued that Jim Crow not only codified traditional practice, but also meant to erase the progress that black people had made. His argument says that Jim Crow wasn't just turning traditions into law (this was the existing belief about the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation). According to Van Woodward, Jim Crow was also undoing progress that black people had had made during Reconstruction (this was the revisionist view that made a big impact on how people interpreted the continuity of Jim Crow as a traditional practice).

To help understand the logical structure here, consider the following example:
  • Say that the prevailing dogma about butter is that it is bad for your heart. To keep things simple, let's say that this is the only bad thing about butter according to the prevailing view.
  • You then conduct a bunch of research related to butter and conclude that butter also kills brain cells (let's hope not!).
  • You then might say, "Butter is NOT ONLY bad for your heart BUT ALSO bad for your brain!"
  • The "not only" part was the accepted dogma, while the "but also" was something new. This new discovery challenges the existing view, which is that butter is only bad for your heart.
  • Note that you are NOT saying that butter is good for your heart, but you are still challenging the prevailing dogma.

Similarly:
  • The prevailing dogma saw Jim Crow as a continuation of traditional, discriminatory practices.
  • Vann Woodward argued that Jim Crow was also a reversal of Reconstruction.

Let's make sure we review every answer choice and confirm whether it matches this understanding.

Quote:
(A) Jim Crow laws were passed to give legal status to well-established discriminatory practices in the South

This matches what we’ve read. At the time, people believed that Jim Crow laws had codified (i.e. made into law) traditional practices of discrimination against black people. Vann Woodward challenged this belief in the historical continuity of racial segregation by arguing that Jim Crow laws also erased the prior progress black people had made during Reconstruction.

Quote:
(B) Jim Crow laws were passed to establish order and uniformity in the discriminatory practices of different southern states

Was the point of Jim Crow to reduce differences between individual states? No. Vann Woodward challenged a widely held belief in the historical continuity of Jim Crow, not the geographic continuity of Jim Crow. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) Jim Crow laws were passed to erase the social gains that Black people had achieved since Reconstruction

This is what Vann Woodward argued, not the dogma he argued against. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) the continuity of racial segregation in the South was disrupted by passage of Jim Crow laws

Both Vann Woodward and people of his time believed that Jim Crow had codified, not disrupted, traditional practices of racial segregation. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) the Jim Crow laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were passed to reverse the effect of earlier Jim Crow laws

There is no mention of "earlier" Jim Crow Laws anywhere in the passage. Eliminate (E).

(A) is the best choice available.


Q4 Choice D, Explained


papasmurf wrote:
I don't understand why the OA for question 4 isn't option D. That particular portion is even referenced in the passage!

Remember that the question asks us to pick the choice that is not a similarity between Vaan Woodward and Paine suggested in the passage.

Quote:
4. The passage suggests that C. Vann Woodward and Thomas Paine were similar in all of the following ways EXCEPT:
(D) The works of both had a significant effect on events following their publication.

  • Vaan Woodward's "The Strange Career of Jim Crow" had a significant effect on the civil rights movement. According to the passage, MLK Jr. himself testified to this effect.
  • Paine's "Common Sense" had "a comparable impact" on the American Revolution.

(D) is backed up by the passage, so we eliminate choice (D).


Q5 Choices A and B, Explained


arvind910619 wrote:
5. The attitude of the author of the passage toward the work of C. Vann Woodward is best described as one of

(A) respectful regard
(B) qualified approbation
(C) implied skepticism
(D) pointed criticism
(E) fervent advocacy

I am confused between A and B in question 5.
I understood the reasoning behind eliminating C,D and E but not for eliminating B .

Can you please delineate these to options and how to eliminate B

Approbation is another way of saying "praise." Qualified has multiple meanings. When used to describe a statement that someone is making, it means “limited” — not “meeting the necessary qualifications.” For instance:
  • “Bob qualified his praise of the film with a critique of a major plot hole.”
  • “Maria wasn’t happy with the candidate’s debate performance, so she offered a qualified endorsement that didn’t attract any new voters. On the other hand, Reema’s unqualified praise for the candidate motivated her entire neighborhood to show up and vote.”

The author is praising Vann Woodward’s work, but this praise doesn’t come with significant limitations or doubts. It’s consistently positive, as Vann Woodward’s lectures provide a great example for the author’s point, and the author clearly has a high opinion of the impact these lectures made on the events of their time. That’s why we eliminate (B).

Now let's check on choice (A). "Regard" is another way of saying "attention" or "consideration," and the regard that this author pays to Vann Woodward is surely respectful. This is more in line with the author’s attitude than “qualified approbation,” so we’re sticking with (A).


Q6, Explained


subhadeepb4 wrote:
Can someone explain question 6.

Check out this earlier post.



Thanks for the questions, everybody! I hope that the answers make some sense.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2018, 19:31
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shubham2312 wrote:
hi
guys can someone explain why OA for question 4 is E not A,
in my understanding the reason is both the works were published during an important historical event.

kindly someone throw some light on it.

Quote:
4. The passage suggests that C. Vann Woodward and Thomas Paine were similar in all of the following ways EXCEPT:

(A) Both had works published in the midst of important historical events.
(B) Both wrote works that enjoyed widespread popularity.
(C) Both exhibited an understanding of the relevance of historical evidence to contemporary issues.
(D) The works of both had a significant effect on events following their publication.
(E) Both were able to set aside worries about historical anachronism in order to reach and inspire.

Yes, (A) must be eliminated because both had works published in the midst of important historical events:

  • Woodward's work was published during the civil rights movement.
  • Paine's work was published during the American revolutionary movement.

As for (E), the passage does say that Paine was not concerned with the dangers of historical anachronism. However, we don't know that he was ever really worried about historical anachronism or that he had to set those worries aside. Similarly, we don't know whether Woodward worried about historical anachronism and set those worries aside.

(E) is the best answer.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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Hello,

This Passage is from OG11. I found this passage hard. Im still unable to find a reasonable explanations for question 2 & 3.

Can some one please explain these questions.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2015, 01:08
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Indeed tough even though I read something more worse than this.

Back to the 2 and 3 question

Actually , whenever you must infer something from a passage on the gmat you must keep in mind these two things:

1) the answer is always some line before or after the central point you were asked

2) the answer is always a restatement (i.e using other words to say the same thing) of the passage

2 question

He argued that the Jim Crow laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries not only codified traditional practice but also were a determined effort to erase the considerable progress made by Black people during and after Reconstruction in the 1870’s.

D is the answer

3 question

the solution to this is a bit far from line 27

Yet, like Paine, Woodward had an unerring sense of the revolutionary moment, and of how historical evidence could undermine the mythological tradition that was crushing the dreams of new social possibilities.

Only C resembles the underlined part. I mean: you judge the operate of a new presidet that took office and as such a new way to reach results, a new deal if you called, and then an article critique soon after the same president's operate from an hystorical stand point.

Actually, the best strategy is to read the entire passage very carefully. Only through this way you can catch the sense as whole because often the answer is far away from the point you are focus on.

Hope this helps
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Nov 2015, 11:19
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RaviChandra wrote:
Hello,

This Passage is from OG11. I found this passage hard. Im still unable to find a reasonable explanations for question 2 & 3.

Can some one please explain these questions.


Hi Ravi,

I can give it a shot.

Q2 asks what was the prevailing dogma or the prevalent opinion/belief considered to be absolutely true and irrefutable at the time about the history of racial segregation in the South. So what we need to establish here is that what was the general perception of the people before that perception was changed by the lectures of Woodward regarding the Jim Crow laws of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since we can see from the passage that Woodward's view of these laws were revisionist and he states these laws actually furthered the segregation of the Black folks. We can infer that these laws were passed under the guise of promoting desegregation but it instead made the situation of the Black people worse. So the Prevailing Dogma of the people at the time these laws were in effect and until Woodward's offered his revisionist views was that these laws were helping the black people (the continuity of racial segregation in the South was disrupted by passage of Jim Crow laws) but instead as Woodward's revised views suggest they were doing the opposite.

Q3 asks us to determine what would be the most appropriate analogy for 'Handicaps' as mentioned in the third paragraph. The handicaps here alludes to history of American Revolution published in 1776. Since the American revolution took place itself in that time period and perhaps was even ongoing in 1776, publishing a book about it already would be a little premature and hasty. Similarly, assessing the historical importance of a President who has just taken office is premature too. The President's term needs to come to an end for an effective assessment of his time in office.

Hope i made some sense. This was my thinking to get the answers.

Although, I have a doubt about Q5 and some help would be appreciated. How can we say that the attitude of the author is qualified approbation, as per my understanding approbation means a formal approval a sanction. What in the passage suggests that the author is qualified to give a formal approval to Woodwork's work or am i reading this wrong? I chose option A.

mikemcgarry Hi Mike, could really use your help here with Question no. 5. Much appreciated!
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2016, 06:21
Can someone please explain?

5. The attitude of the author of the passage toward the work of C. Vann Woodward is best described as one of
(A) respectful regard
(B) qualified approbation
(C) implied skepticism
(D) pointed criticism
(E) fervent advocacy

I marked D.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2016, 17:46
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powellmittra wrote:
Can someone please explain?

5. The attitude of the author of the passage toward the work of C. Vann Woodward is best described as one of
(A) respectful regard
(B) qualified approbation
(C) implied skepticism
(D) pointed criticism
(E) fervent advocacy

I marked D.


The last sentence states that "Martin Luther King, Jr., testified to the profound effect of The Strange Career of Jim Crow on the civil rights movement by praising the book and quoting it frequently."
..... testified {= give evidence}to the profound {= great} effect of the book...

(B) qualified {=proven to be useful} approbation {=approval}

I think now it make sense more why B is correct.
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New post 13 Oct 2017, 05:32
The OAs for Qs 2 and Qs 5 are wrong. OA is A for both.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 05:10
Somebody please help with Q3. I didn't understand the meaning of handicaps even when I read the passage. Please somebody explain the meaning in the passage. Also in the last question, please explain why A is wrong.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2017, 23:26
GMATNinja wrote:
ShashankDave wrote:
Somebody please help with Q3. I didn't understand the meaning of handicaps even when I read the passage. Please somebody explain the meaning in the passage. Also in the last question, please explain why A is wrong.

Quote:
3. Which of the following is the best example of writing that is likely to be subject to the kinds of “handicaps” referred to in line 27?

(A) A history of an auto manufacturing plant written by an employee during an auto-buying boom
(B) A critique of a statewide school-desegregation plan written by an elementary school teacher in that state
(C) A newspaper article assessing the historical importance of a United States President written shortly after the President has taken office
(D) A scientific paper describing the benefits of a certain surgical technique written by the surgeon who developed the technique
(E) Diary entries narrating the events of a battle written by a soldier who participated in the battle

Quote:
Ten years later, in a preface to the second revised edition, Woodward confessed with ironic modesty that the first edition “had begun to suffer under some of the handicaps that might be expected in a history of the American Revolution published in 1776.”

In this sentence, a "handicap" is a challenge or an obstacle (i.e. "A fear of public speaking is a severe handicap to anyone running for public office.").
In 1776, the American Revolution was in its early stages. It would be difficult to write a history of a revolution while the revolution is still in its early stages. It would be easier to write such a history after the revolution so that you could look back and get the full picture.

Similarly, it would be difficult to assess the historical importance of a US President shortly after that President has taken office (and yes, I'm biting my tongue in a desperate effort keep this forum politically neutral). It would be easier to assess the historical importance of a President after that President's term is over. Hence, choice (C) is the best option.

Quote:
6. Which of the following best describes the new idea expressed by C. Vann Woodward in his University of Virginia lectures in 1954?

(A) Southern racial segregation was continuous and uniform.
(B) Black people made considerable progress only after Reconstruction.
(C) Jim Crow legislation was conventional in nature.
(D) Jim Crow laws did not go as far in codifying traditional practice as they might have.
(E) Jim Crow laws did much more than merely reinforce a tradition of segregation.

As for the last question, refer to the following portion: "In the fall of 1954, for example, C. Vann Woodward delivered a lecture series at the University of Virginia which challenged the prevailing dogma concerning the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation in the South."

Woodward challenged the idea that racial segregation in the South was continuous and uniform. Choice (A) represents the "prevailing dogma" that Woodward challenged, not Woodward's new idea.

I hope that helps!


Thankyou GMATNinja for your help. I think that GMAT does not assume any outside knowledge necessary to solve a passage. It has nowhere been specified in the passage that American Revolution began in 1776. If it were, I wouldn't have had a problem with this.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2017, 08:03
GMATNinja wrote:
ShashankDave wrote:
Somebody please help with Q3. I didn't understand the meaning of handicaps even when I read the passage. Please somebody explain the meaning in the passage. Also in the last question, please explain why A is wrong.

Quote:
3. Which of the following is the best example of writing that is likely to be subject to the kinds of “handicaps” referred to in line 27?

(A) A history of an auto manufacturing plant written by an employee during an auto-buying boom
(B) A critique of a statewide school-desegregation plan written by an elementary school teacher in that state
(C) A newspaper article assessing the historical importance of a United States President written shortly after the President has taken office
(D) A scientific paper describing the benefits of a certain surgical technique written by the surgeon who developed the technique
(E) Diary entries narrating the events of a battle written by a soldier who participated in the battle

Quote:
Ten years later, in a preface to the second revised edition, Woodward confessed with ironic modesty that the first edition “had begun to suffer under some of the handicaps that might be expected in a history of the American Revolution published in 1776.”

In this sentence, a "handicap" is a challenge or an obstacle (i.e. "A fear of public speaking is a severe handicap to anyone running for public office.").
In 1776, the American Revolution was in its early stages. It would be difficult to write a history of a revolution while the revolution is still in its early stages. It would be easier to write such a history after the revolution so that you could look back and get the full picture.


Similarly, it would be difficult to assess the historical importance of a US President shortly after that President has taken office (and yes, I'm biting my tongue in a desperate effort keep this forum politically neutral). It would be easier to assess the historical importance of a President after that President's term is over. Hence, choice (C) is the best option.

Quote:
6. Which of the following best describes the new idea expressed by C. Vann Woodward in his University of Virginia lectures in 1954?

(A) Southern racial segregation was continuous and uniform.
(B) Black people made considerable progress only after Reconstruction.
(C) Jim Crow legislation was conventional in nature.
(D) Jim Crow laws did not go as far in codifying traditional practice as they might have.
(E) Jim Crow laws did much more than merely reinforce a tradition of segregation.

As for the last question, refer to the following portion: "In the fall of 1954, for example, C. Vann Woodward delivered a lecture series at the University of Virginia which challenged the prevailing dogma concerning the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation in the South."

Woodward challenged the idea that racial segregation in the South was continuous and uniform. Choice (A) represents the "prevailing dogma" that Woodward challenged, not Woodward's new idea.

I hope that helps!


GMATNinja -Could you please explain Qs 1? Where does the RC talk about people's interpretation?

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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2017, 10:07
powellmittra wrote:
Can someone please explain?

5. The attitude of the author of the passage toward the work of C. Vann Woodward is best described as one of
(A) respectful regard
(B) qualified approbation
(C) implied skepticism
(D) pointed criticism
(E) fervent advocacy

I marked D.



I AM STUCK BETWEEN A AND B.
ANY HELP GUYS
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2017, 17:04
GMATNinja wrote:
ShashankDave wrote:
Somebody please help with Q3. I didn't understand the meaning of handicaps even when I read the passage. Please somebody explain the meaning in the passage. Also in the last question, please explain why A is wrong.

Quote:
3. Which of the following is the best example of writing that is likely to be subject to the kinds of “handicaps” referred to in line 27?

(A) A history of an auto manufacturing plant written by an employee during an auto-buying boom
(B) A critique of a statewide school-desegregation plan written by an elementary school teacher in that state
(C) A newspaper article assessing the historical importance of a United States President written shortly after the President has taken office
(D) A scientific paper describing the benefits of a certain surgical technique written by the surgeon who developed the technique
(E) Diary entries narrating the events of a battle written by a soldier who participated in the battle

Quote:
Ten years later, in a preface to the second revised edition, Woodward confessed with ironic modesty that the first edition “had begun to suffer under some of the handicaps that might be expected in a history of the American Revolution published in 1776.”

In this sentence, a "handicap" is a challenge or an obstacle (i.e. "A fear of public speaking is a severe handicap to anyone running for public office.").
In 1776, the American Revolution was in its early stages. It would be difficult to write a history of a revolution while the revolution is still in its early stages. It would be easier to write such a history after the revolution so that you could look back and get the full picture.

Similarly, it would be difficult to assess the historical importance of a US President shortly after that President has taken office (and yes, I'm biting my tongue in a desperate effort keep this forum politically neutral). It would be easier to assess the historical importance of a President after that President's term is over. Hence, choice (C) is the best option.

Quote:
6. Which of the following best describes the new idea expressed by C. Vann Woodward in his University of Virginia lectures in 1954?

(A) Southern racial segregation was continuous and uniform.
(B) Black people made considerable progress only after Reconstruction.
(C) Jim Crow legislation was conventional in nature.
(D) Jim Crow laws did not go as far in codifying traditional practice as they might have.
(E) Jim Crow laws did much more than merely reinforce a tradition of segregation.

As for the last question, refer to the following portion: "In the fall of 1954, for example, C. Vann Woodward delivered a lecture series at the University of Virginia which challenged the prevailing dogma concerning the history, continuity, and uniformity of racial segregation in the South."

Woodward challenged the idea that racial segregation in the South was continuous and uniform. Choice (A) represents the "prevailing dogma" that Woodward challenged, not Woodward's new idea.

I hope that helps!


Q3 requires a basic understanding of when the American Revolution started and ended, non-Americans will not have this understanding. Surprised that this is an official guide question.
Rest of the questions can be answered by reading the passage.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 11:28
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gps5441 wrote:
Q3 requires a basic understanding of when the American Revolution started and ended, non-Americans will not have this understanding. Surprised that this is an official guide question.
Rest of the questions can be answered by reading the passage.

True, this question would be easier with a knowledge of the American Revolution (this question is from an older edition of the OG and may have been retired for that very reason).

But we are given some clues. The very first sentence says that, "Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and experienced before it is studied, interpreted, and read." We can infer that since history is continually being made, attempting to write a history WHILE events are unfolding would be problematic.

A main theme throughout the passage is that it is difficult to write an objective history if you are someone who has lived or is living through the historical events themselves. For example, Thomas Paine wanted to reach and inspire. He was more concerned with ALTERING the course of history than with writing an objective account (which is why he would have apologized for the TIMING of his pamphlet). Similarly, C. Vann Woodward's lectures had a "profound effect" on the civil rights movement because he delivered them DURING a revolutionary time. Given the contextual clues, it seems likely that the American Revolution was either ongoing or had just finished in 1776. The author would likely agree that someone who is actively involved in the historical events would likely have a skewed point of view.

There is evidence pointing us towards choice (E), and, using process of elimination, this is a better choice than the other options.

But, yes, knowing that the American Revolution happened ~200-250 years ago is "common knowledge" that would help in answering this question.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 21:09
powellmittra wrote:
Can someone please explain?

5. The attitude of the author of the passage toward the work of C. Vann Woodward is best described as one of
(A) respectful regard
(B) qualified approbation
(C) implied skepticism
(D) pointed criticism
(E) fervent advocacy

I marked D.

It is surely not D as author is not criticizing completely to Woodward's work. In fact he is pointing out his great work such as lecturing against pre-conceived notion by Jim Crow. He also explains that book was highly praised and mentioned many times by Matrin Luther King Jr. He also explains that Woodward had unerring sense of movements. I was stuck between B and E. In E he is clearly fervent but not advocating his work. So right choice is B. He is praising his work by giving example of his sense of movement and Martin Luther King and it is qualified praise because author has done his homework before stating anything.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2018, 21:26
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http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1990/05/17/the-rebel/
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2018, 18:19
hi
guys can someone explain why OA for question 4 is E not A,
in my understanding the reason is both the works were published during an important historical event.

kindly someone throw some light on it.
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2018, 01:00
I don't understand why the OA for question 4 isn't option D. That particular portion is even referenced in the passage!
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Re: Historians sometimes forget that history is continually being made and &nbs [#permalink] 07 Jun 2018, 01:00

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