The Best and the Brightest Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Why was Chester Bowles assigned to a different position?
(a) He had disgraced himself by having an affair with one of his pages.
(b) He had quarreled with Bobby Kennedy over who was in charge in Kennedy's absence.
(c) He had leaked confidential information to the press.
(d) He had been caught saying embarrassing things on an open mic.

2. Where does Halberstam say McNamara found people to work under him as Secretary of Defense?
(a) The auto industry.
(b) Boeing.
(c) Academia.
(d) England.

3. What does Halberstam say Kennedy had done in response to the meeting with Russians in Vienna?
(a) He increased troop strength in Berlin.
(b) He removed troops from Poland.
(c) He sent an advisory committee to Vietnam.
(d) He reduced America's nuclear arsenal.

4. When Kennedy did not authorize more troops, what does Halberstam say he told the Pentagon?
(a) To develop an exit strategy.
(b) To plan to redeploy combat troops.
(c) To prepare a larger engagement.
(d) To develop plans to expand the war to Cambodia.

5. What did the fact-finding mission discover at about the time of the problem with the Buddhist monks?
(a) The U.S. was unprepared for guerilla warfare.
(b) Vast corruption.
(c) Diem was not on top of the situation.
(d) The North was expanding its recruitment.

6. What was Kennedy's relationship with the press during his presidential campaign?
(a) He had the support of most of the press.
(b) He had a contentious relationship with the press.
(c) He had to quash a few stories that were critical to his campaign.
(d) He had a number of hostile enemies in the press.

7. What does Halberstam say happened that strained the relationship between Diem and the Buddhists?
(a) The Buddhists instigated confrontations with the army.
(b) The government raided the pagodas and blamed it on the army.
(c) The Buddhists martyred themselves in opposition to the government.
(d) The government seized land and temples from the Buddhists.

8. What position had Robert Lovett been appointed to in 1947?
(a) Secretary of Defense.
(b) Secretary of the Interior.
(c) Undersecretary of State.
(d) Secretary of State.

9. What does Halberstam say marked the end of the generals' faith in Diem?
(a) The raid on the pagodas.
(b) The drought and subsequent humanitarian crisis.
(c) The influence of American interests on Diem's government.
(d) The backlash against the army after the botched raids on the pagodas.

10. What does Halberstam say happened that threatened the relationship between Diem and the Buddhists?
(a) The Buddhists expanded their protests.
(b) The people backed the Buddhists against Diem.
(c) Diem and Nhu retreated into aristocratic aloofness.
(d) Diem reneged on his promises.

11. What state does Halberstam say the Vietcong were in when Kennedy sent the fact-finding mission in 1961?
(a) They had opposition in the civilian populace.
(b) They were using guerilla tactics ineffectively.
(c) They were fragmented and plagued with in-fighting.
(d) They were committed and had good leadership.

12. How does Halberstam say McNamara learned about the affairs in Vietnam?
(a) By talking to people.
(b) By reading reports.
(c) By seeing for himself.
(d) By conducting academic studies.

13. Which situation had the biggest effect on the Kennedy administration in 1961?
(a) The financial crisis.
(b) The Gulf of Tonkin incident.
(c) The Bay of Pigs.
(d) China policy.

14. When did the problem with the Buddhist monks begin?
(a) March 1961.
(b) April 1962.
(c) May 1963.
(d) November 1962.

15. Where was the war going well, at the time when the White House was losing faith in Diem, according to Halberstam?
(a) In Quang Nam.
(b) In the Mekong Delta.
(c) In Pleiku.
(d) Around Saigon.

Short Answer Questions

1. How big a margin did Kennedy win the presidency by?

2. Why didn't Kennedy formulate a China policy, in Halberstam's account?

3. What does Halberstam say was the result of the Chinese Revolution and the McCarthy period?

4. What position did the Kennedy administration take with regard to nuclear disarmament?

5. What mistake had the Kennedy administration made in the Bay of Pigs invasion?

(see the answer keys)

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