The Best and the Brightest Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does Halberstam say Kennedy was confronted with at the beginning of "The Best and the Brightest"?

Halberstam says that President-elect Kennedy was confronted with the task of finding experts in a number of areas that he could bring into his administration.

2. Who was Robert A. Lovett, and what does Halberstam say he signified for Kennedy?

Lovett was an investment banker before serving as Undersecretary of State and Secretary of Defense. He had experience in previous administrations, and Halberstam says that Lovett signified that Kennedy saw him as a link to earlier eras, and a good source of advice. Lovett had been recommended by Kennedy's own father, Joseph Kennedy.

3. What did Lovett and Kennedy discuss during their meeting?

They discussed candidates for various positions in Kennedy's administration. Lovett recommended Dean Rusk and Robert McNamara for Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense respectively.

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