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

Neil Sheehan
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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. To better fortify themselves against the ARVN assault, VC guerrillas at Ap Bac use ___________ extensively.

2. President Diem's younger brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, is relied upon for his military and political advise despite the fact he has a(n) _______________ dependency.

3. Who is President of the United States in 1962?

4. In what city is the 7th Infantry Division (and John Paul Vann) stationed?

5. How many M-113 armored personnel carriers are deployed by the ARVN/American forces to Ap Bac?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. How does the United States initially get more involved in South Vietnamese politics in 1962?

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

5. From this brief vignette of the funeral of John Paul Vann, what facts can we glean about his life and personality?

6. What important political trends are taking place in North Vietnam and South Vietnam in the early 1960s?

7. What are some of the reasons why the South Vietnamese people as a whole do not rally behind the Americans?

8. Briefly describe some of the things John Paul Vann did that get him categorized as lucky by those with whom he served.

9. In what ways does John Paul Vann's life embody the spirit of the United States in the Vietnam War?

10. Why is the Battle of Ap Bac considered perhaps the most important confrontation of the entire Vietnam War?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What were some of the key actions taken by the Diem administration in South Vietnam that adversely affected the opinion of the general population toward him and, by extension, toward the Americans that installed him in power? Please cite 2-3 examples and how the people of South Vietnam reacted to each policy or action taken.

Essay Topic 2

At least five United States' Presidents attempted to deal with the situation in Vietnam. Which presidents were involved and how did each one approach the problems created by the U.S. military (or advisory) operations in Vietnam? In your opinion, which president's approach was best in your opinion and why?

Essay Topic 3

What were some of the staple foods in the Vann home? How did this particular diet affect the health and psychological well-being of the children? Which of John Paul Vann's parents was the primary cook and provider? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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