A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Neil Sheehan
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 136 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What are the two key reasons why the ARVN forces did not soundly defeat the VC at Ap Bac?

2. How many Viet Cong guerrillas are entrenched in defensive positions at Ap Bac?

3. President John F. Kennedy proposes _______________ as a way to deal with possible peasant uprisings spurred on by the Vietcong.

4. Which parallel is the dividing line between North and South Vietnam?

5. John Paul Vann's Vietnamese counterpart is named:

Short Essay Questions

1. What political policies of Diem in particular lead to growing dissatisfaction with him and his regime among the South Vietnamese people and, eventually, the Americans as well?

2. In 1962, what is the United States' stated primary role in Vietnam?

3. What is one of the secret desires of the American military advisers with regard to the Viet Cong's fighting tactics?

4. Discuss the significance of John Paul Vann's promotion to senior adviser for a corps region. How is this significant?

5. Why are the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) referred to as "Viet Cong"?

6. What features of John Paul Vann's burial at Arlington stood out?

7. As adviser to the 7th Infantry Division of the ARVN, John Paul Vann is responsible for the defense and preservation of what area in Vietnam?

8. John Paul Vann retires from the military in 1963, only to go back to Vietnam with the AID in 1965 and serve until his death in 1972. Based on what we've learned from "The Funeral" section, why do you think he does this?

9. What do the many guerrilla-style hit-and-run missions of the Viet Cong teach them about the nature of their enemies, the South Vietnamese and the Americans?

10. Why is the use of terminology in reference to Ho Chi Minh's forces important for the Americans and South Vietnamese to establish?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Using what you know about John Paul Vann's personality and character, why do you think he was always getting into disagreements (sometimes heated arguments) with his superiors and others in positions of authority over him? Pick one or two instances from the text where John Paul Vann had a major difference of opinion with an authority figure and expound on whether or not you agreed with him.

Essay Topic 2

From what you recall in the book, please outline a brief background of the events before, during, and immediately after the tell-tale Battle of Ap Bac. Be sure to include the major events that led directly to the outcome of the confrontation, as well as the overall significance for this battle to the rest of the war.

Essay Topic 3

In many respects, Vietnam was considered to be the first "helicopter war". Based on your readings, do you think this is an accurate description? How did John Paul Vann and other commanders make use of "choppers" in the book? Please give 2-3 examples.

(see the answer keys)

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