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Passage breakdown


In the first paragraph (P1), the author discusses two views that hold that the Black Death WAS important:

  • Traditionally, historians believed that the Black Death "greatly intensified the political and religious upheaval that ended the Middle Ages."
  • Coulton agrees and thinks that the plague also led to the Renaissance.

In the second paragraph, the author discusses a view that the Black Death was NOT that important, and then undermines this view.

  • Kosminsky argues the Black Death was secondary factor to the end of feudalism.
  • Later studies undermined Kosminsky's work.

In the third paragraph (P3), the author discusses another view that the Black Death was NOT that important.

  • Twigg thinks that the Black Death came from a different source and didn't actually cause that many deaths.

In the fourth paragraph, the author undermines the view discussed in P3.


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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
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This has to be 700 + difficulty level question.
Read the Passage two times still could not understand it completely and to complete the perfect day in office "got both the answers wrong"

Frustrated over my limited vocab and liked the explanation given by Carcass,I wish could interpret the things like you.

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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
took 5 mins to complete the passage and answer the questions.
Answers : B E C

Last one was quite easy I guess?
What is the level of this passage? I don't think it is 700+ it should be less
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
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Steinbeck,
E is the correct answer.
Kosminsky : "Evgeny Kosminsky and other Marxist historians claimed the epidemic was merely an ancillary factor contributing to a general agrarian crisis stemming primarily from the inevitable decay of European feudalism. In arguing that this decline of feudalism was economically determined, the Marxist asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor"

The passage does not mention anything related to rest of the World.

Can you publish the link to Ron's solution for this question ?
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
manishkhare wrote:
Steinbeck,
E is the correct answer.
Kosminsky : "Evgeny Kosminsky and other Marxist historians claimed the epidemic was merely an ancillary factor contributing to a general agrarian crisis stemming primarily from the inevitable decay of European feudalism. In arguing that this decline of feudalism was economically determined, the Marxist asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor"

The passage does not mention anything related to rest of the World.

Can you publish the link to Ron's solution for this question ?


This is the link https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/foru ... 20550.html

This is the text -

in considering the economic stuff, kosminsky "asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor".

... so, as far as any significance that the black death might actually have, kosminsky is specifically saying that its significance CANNOT be understood in economic terms. (it might be literally anything else--just not economics.)

so, choice E is essentially the exact opposite of what the words say.
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
Which of the following statements is most compatible with Kosminsky's approach to history, as it is presented in the passage?

A. The Middle Ages were ended primarily by the religious and political upheaval in fourteenth-century Europe.


The significance of the Black Death is best explained within the context of evolving economic systems.

"the epidemic was merely an ancillary factor contributing to a general agrarian crisis stemming primarily from the inevitable decay of European feudalism. In arguing that this decline of feudalism was economically determined
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
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Took 11 mins , including almost 4 mins to read :? and got the last one incorrect

-The author does not provide an opinion but merely talks about the various debates on black death through the ages

1. "he Marxist asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor. This became the prevailing view until after the Second World War, when studies of specific regions and towns revealed astonishing mortality rates ascribed to the epidemic, thus restoring the central role of the Black Death in history."
Answer A

2.
"silver lining to the Black Death: prosperity engendered by diminished competition for food, shelter, and work led survivors of the epidemic into the Renaissance and subsequent rise of modern Europe."
Answer B

3.
"zoologist Graham Twigg employs urban case studies suggesting that the rat population in Europe was both too sparse and insufficiently migratory to have spread plague."
Answer C

4.
"Although correctly citing the exacting conditions needed to start or spread bubonic plague, Twigg ignores virtually a century of scholarship contradictory to his findings and employs faulty logic in his single-minded approach to the Black Death."
Answer A

5.Since the author talks about multiple views and debates around the impact and historical significance of the Black Death, option (D) is the best answer choice.

6.
"In arguing that this decline of feudalism was economically determined, the Marxist asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor."
The above suggests that Kosminsky’s approach to History is directly connected to economic circumstances and causes. Hence Option (E)
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
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6. Which of the following statements is most compatible with Kosminsky's approach to history, as it is presented in the passage?

A. The Middle Ages were ended primarily by the religious and political upheaval in fourteenth-century Europe.
B. The economic consequences of the Black Death included increased competition for food, shelter, and work.
C. European history cannot be studied in isolation from that of the rest of the world.
D. The number of deaths in fourteenth-century Europe has been greatly exaggerated by other historians.
E. The significance of the Black Death is best explained within the context of evolving economic systems.

If one were to solve the last question without careful attention then one would definitely get it wrong .A is a trap laid very beautifully and just at the top so we need not need to check all the options .
The correct answer however is E
A just repeats the information from the passage and A is just a result of using Marxist's approach .
E is the correct answer if read the following excerpt from the passage the answer becomes clear


"In the 1930s, however, Evgeny Kosminsky and other Marxist historians claimed the epidemic was merely an ancillary factor contributing to a general agrarian crisis stemming primarily from the inevitable decay of European feudalism. In arguing that this decline of feudalism was economically determined, the Marxist asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor."
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
Hi,

In Question 3, why is option A incorrect? As per the passage, Twigg suggests that the rat 'population was insufficiently migratory to have spread plague'. So, if they could have escaped ships, indicating they are more migratory than Twigg believed them to be, they would have probably caused the plague.

Thanks in advance
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Question 3


jayarora wrote:
Hi,

In Question 3, why is option A incorrect? As per the passage, Twigg suggests that the rat 'population was insufficiently migratory to have spread plague'. So, if they could have escaped ships, indicating they are more migratory than Twigg believed them to be, they would have probably caused the plague.

Thanks in advance

Quote:
3) The passage suggests that Twigg believes that rats could not have spread the Black Death unless which of the following were true?

(A) The rats escaped from ships that had been in Asia.
(B) The rats were immune to the diseases that they carried.
(C) The rat population was larger in medieval Europe than Twigg believes it actually was.
(D) The rat population primarily infested densely populated areas.
(E) The rats interacted with other animals that Twigg believes could have carried plague.

First, pay close attention to the wording of the question: "The passage suggests that Twigg believes that rats could not have spread the Black Death unless which of the following were true?" In other words, Twigg believes that the ONLY way rats could have spread the Black Death is if one of the answer choices is true.

Sure, (A) might explain a spread of the black death by rats... but to conclude that the rats were more migratory just because they escaped from Asian ships is making a huge logical leap. Also, so what if they escaped ships in Asia? Did those rats ever make it to Europe? Who knows?

Second, we are specifically told that, according to Twigg, the rat population in Europe was both too sparse and insufficiently migratory to have spread plague. So Twigg believes that the rat population needed to be 1) larger and 2) more migratory. Thus, according to Twigg, rats could not have spread the plague unless 1) their population was larger than he believed it actually was and 2) the rats were more migratory.

Choice (C) fits with the first of these two requirements and is our best answer.

I hope this helps!
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
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Summary:
1) The significance of the Black Death in explaining the upheaval in XIV century is debatable, e.g. FC (for) and GC (against)
2) Marxists claimed that the BD played an ancillary role in the upheaval, but a study after WW II put the BD in central position in history
3) GT argues against the BD's significance, using a study results on dead rats and rat population at the time
4) The author disagrees with GT's study, citing some weakening arguments such as other animals carrying the plague and scholarship


1. According to the passage, the post-Second World War studies that altered the prevailing view of the Black Death involved which of the following? Relevant text: This became the prevailing view until after the Second World War, when studies of specific regions and towns revealed astonishing mortality rates ascribed to the epidemic, thus restoring the central role of the Black Death in history.
(A) Determining the death rates caused by the Black Death in specific regions and towns correct
(B) Demonstrating how the Black Death intensified the political and religious upheaval that ended the Middle Ages that's FC's argument
(C) Presenting evidence to prove that many medieval epidemics were mislabeled that seems to refer to GT's argument, which build its findings on this sort of theory
(D) Arguing that the consequences of the Black Death led to the Renaissance and the rise of modern Europe that seemingly refers to GC' argument
(E) Employing urban case studies to determine the number of rats in medieval Europe

2. The "silver lining to the Black Death" (the highlighted text) refers to which of the following? Relevant text: George Coulton agreed but, paradoxically, attributed a silver lining to the Black Death: prosperity engendered by diminished competition for food, shelter, and work led survivors of the epidemic into the Renaissance and subsequent rise of modern Europe.
(A) The decay of European feudalism precipitated by the Black Death that can be found in another argument - EK and Marx - and so not related
(B) Greater availability of employment, sustenance, and housing for survivors of the epidemic correct
(C) Strengthening of the human species through natural selection perhaps but not given
(D) Better understanding of how to limit the spread of contagious diseases
(E) Immunities and resistance to the Black Death gained by later generations

3. The passage suggests that Twigg believes that rats could not have spread the Black Death unless which of the following were true? Relevant text: Graham Twigg employs urban case studies suggesting that the rat population in Europe was both too sparse and insufficiently migratory to have spread plague. Moreover, Twigg disputes the traditional trade-ship explanation for plague transmissions by extrapolating from data on the number of dead rats aboard Nile sailing vessels in 1912.
(A) The rats escaped from ships that had been in Asia.
(B) The rats were immune to the diseases that they carried.
(C) The rats population was larger in medieval Europe than Twigg believes it actually was. the opposite of sparse
(D) The rats population primarily infested densely populated areas.
(E) The rats interacted with other animals that Twigg believes could have carried plague. that's what the author thinks

4. The author's attitude toward Twigg's work is best characterized as which of the following?
(A) Dismissive correct
(B) Indifferent in that case they author wouldn't have probably said anything
(C) Vindictive too strong
(D) Cautious the author seems to be entirely against GT's views
(E) Ambivalent the author takes a strong stance against GT's views

5. The passage is primarily concerned with
(A) demonstrating the relationship between bubonic plague and the Black Death
(B) interpreting historical and scientific works on the origins of the Black Death
(C) employing the Black Death as a case study of disease transmission in medieval Europe
(D) presenting aspects of past and current debate on the historical importance of the Black Death correct
(E) analyzing the differences between capitalist and Marxist interpretations of the historical significance of the Black Death

6. Which of the following statements is most compatible with Kosminsky's approach to history, as it is presented in the passage? Relevant text: Evgeny Kosminsky and other Marxist historians claimed the epidemic was merely an ancillary factor contributing to a general agrarian crisis stemming primarily from the inevitable decay of European feudalism. In arguing that this decline of feudalism was economically determined, the Marxist asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor.
(A) The Middle Ages were ended primarily by the religious and political upheaval in fourteenth-century Europe. a mix-up
(B) The economic consequences of the Black Death included increased competition for food, shelter, and work. opposite of GC's views
(C) European history cannot be studied in isolation from that of the rest of the world. too broad
(D) The number of deaths in fourteenth-century Europe has been greatly exaggerated by other historians. not given
(E) The significance of the Black Death is best explained within the context of evolving economic systems. correct
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I see this question a lot from my students! People really don't like answer choice A, even though it's the only answer that can be correct.

Question 4 asks how the author feels about Twigg's work, so we're likely looking for something that appears 1) after we introduce Twigg's work and 2) around some emotionally charged language. Twigg's work is first mentioned in Paragraph 3. This paragraph recounts his views pretty objectively, so this isn't where we're going to find how the author feels. This leads us to Paragraph 4 — this makes sense, as the last paragraph is often where authors share their own thoughts. This paragraph is still talking about Twigg, but it is extremely charged, "Twigg ignores", "His speculative generalizations", "isolated", "unrepresentative", "unconvincing", "overlooks", etc.

So ignoring the answer choices, how does the author feel about Twigg in our own words? Definitely negative. Definitely doesn't agree. Thinks his work is flawed, even bad.

Now look at the answer choices. B indicates that the author doesn't care about Twigg's work. E indicates that the author has both strong negative and strong positive feelings about Twigg's work (fun fact: most people use the word "ambivalent" to mean the same thing as "indifferent", but it has a totally different meaning). D indicates that the author is nervous about but isn't necessarily against Twigg's work. Eliminate all three.

C is where most of my students get caught: the author is strongly against Twigg's work, and this is a strong answer. But what does "vindictive" actually mean? Wanting revenge. Does the author want to get revenge on Twigg? Does he want Twigg to lose his job? Does he want Twigg to contract the Black Plague himself? No. He just doesn't like his work. This answer choice is actually too strong. In fact, it's probably safe to assume that anything quite this strong won't appear on the GMAT.

So the answer must be A. A lot of students think that "dismissive" isn't strong enough based on how they've seen it used. But again, what does it actually mean? Thinking something not worthy of consideration. Does the author think Twigg's work is worthy of consideration? No! The author thinks it sucks! So this actually matches up fine with what we saw in the passage.

Moral of the story: predict before looking at the answer choices, and make sure you consider the meaning/extremity of the answers carefully before you choose one.
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
Quote:
2) Which of the following statements is most compatible with Kosminsky's approach to history, as it is presented in the passage?

(A) The Middle Ages were ended primarily by the religious and political upheaval in fourteenth century Europe.
(B) The economic consequences of the Black Death included increased competition for food, shelter, and work.
(C) European history cannot be studied in isolation from that of the rest of the world.
(D) The number of deaths in fourteenth-century Europe has been greatly exaggerated by other historians.
(E) The significance of the Black Death is best explained within the context of evolving economic systems.


Dear experts, @GMATNinja,@ GMATNinjaTwo, workout, SajjadAhmad, u1983, Gnpth
I have no idea how E is the correct answer

In the 1930s, however, Evgeny Kosminsky and other Marxist historians claimed the epidemic was merely an ancillary factor contributing to a general agrarian crisis stemming primarily from the inevitable decay of European feudalism. In arguing that this decline of feudalism was economically determined, the Marxist asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor."

I can get Black Death is no so significant factor, but it does not mean The significance of the Black Death is BEST explained within the context of evolving economic systems.

please help, what I missed.

thanks in advance.
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
Why are there fewer questions now than what people seem to have answered above??


Just to clear up question 3 between
A is incorrect - the belief held by twigg is that the rats were insufficiently migratory and that, as inferred, they couldn't carry the disease of the ships as they were dead. We are actually told the ships are 'nile' ships, and I don't recall the Nile going through Asia, so we can scrap A.
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Question 2


zoezhuyan wrote:
Quote:
2) Which of the following statements is most compatible with Kosminsky's approach to history, as it is presented in the passage?

(A) The Middle Ages were ended primarily by the religious and political upheaval in fourteenth century Europe.
(B) The economic consequences of the Black Death included increased competition for food, shelter, and work.
(C) European history cannot be studied in isolation from that of the rest of the world.
(D) The number of deaths in fourteenth-century Europe has been greatly exaggerated by other historians.
(E) The significance of the Black Death is best explained within the context of evolving economic systems.


Dear experts, @GMATNinja,@ GMATNinjaTwo, workout, SajjadAhmad, u1983, Gnpth
I have no idea how E is the correct answer

In the 1930s, however, Evgeny Kosminsky and other Marxist historians claimed the epidemic was merely an ancillary factor contributing to a general agrarian crisis stemming primarily from the inevitable decay of European feudalism. In arguing that this decline of feudalism was economically determined, the Marxist asserted that the Black Death was a relatively insignificant factor."

I can get Black Death is no so significant factor, but it does not mean The significance of the Black Death is BEST explained within the context of evolving economic systems.

please help, what I missed.

thanks in advance.

Question #2 asks about Kominsky's "approach to history," and here is what the passage tells us about that approach:

Kominsky believed that
  • the decline of feudalism was inevitable and "economically determined"
  • This inevitable decay of of feudalism led to an agrarian crisis
  • The Black Death was an "ancillary factor" contributing to this crisis
  • Furthermore, the Black Death was "relatively insignificant."

From this analysis, we can see that, for Keminsky, the "big picture" is the economically-determined decay of feudalism, while the Black Death is just a minor piece of that big picture.

To answer the question, we need to see which answer choice is "most compatible" with this approach to history.
Quote:
(A) The Middle Ages were ended primarily by the religious and political upheaval in fourteenth century Europe.

Nope, this most closely aligns with Gasquet's study mentioned at the beginning of the first paragraph. Keminsky didn't discuss "religious and political upheaval," so eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) The economic consequences of the Black Death included increased competition for food, shelter, and work.

This one is way off. A different scholar (Coulton) argued that the Black Death resulted in "diminished competition for food, shelter, and work." Keminsky didn't discuss such competition one way or the other, so (B) is out.

Quote:
(C) European history cannot be studied in isolation from that of the rest of the world.

Keminsky doesn't mention any non-European history, so (C) is out.

Quote:
(D) The number of deaths in fourteenth-century Europe has been greatly exaggerated by other historians.

While Keminsky believed that the Black Death was "relatively insignificant," did the author discuss Keminsky's views on the "number of deaths in fourteenth-century Europe?"

Nope -- Keminsky determined that the Black Plague was not a big deal because of how it fit in with other events at the time, not because he believed that other historians exaggerated the number of deaths in 14th century Europe.

Keminsky's views fell out of favor when subsequent studies found "astonishing" death rates, but the passage does not imply in any way that Kominsky believed that these reports were exaggerated. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) The significance of the Black Death is best explained within the context of evolving economic systems.

This looks a lot like our analysis! Keminsky viewed the Black Death as one factor in the "economically determined" decay of feudalism.

We are looking for the statement that is "most compatible" with Keminsky's approach, and with four solid "no's" (E) is the clear winner. While the word "best" does stand out a bit, (E) is certainly aligns better with Keminsky's views than do the other options. (E) is the correct answer.

I hope that helps!
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
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Is there a reason for the following questions to be missing from the list of timed questions for the passage? I see the answers were discussed.

1. According to the passage, the post-Second World War studies that altered the prevailing view of the Black Death involved which of the following?
2. The "silver lining to the Black Death" (the highlighted text) refers to which of the following?
3. The author's attitude toward Twigg's work is best characterized as which of the following?
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Re: The Black Death, a severe epidemic that ravaged fourteenth century Eur [#permalink]
In the GMATprep, a question in asked "The author's attitude toward Twigg's work is best characterized as which of the following?"
With option (A) Dismissive and (C) Cautious. Although the correct option is given as (A), but I selected (C) because of the first line of the last paragraph. The never dismissive the theory rather tell that there some factors not taken into interest.
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