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. What does Halberstam say was the sense in the Kennedy administration as they came into office?
(a) They were going to get the country moving again.
(b) They were going to continue the country's prosperity.
(c) They were going to institute a new era of peace.
(d) They were going to conquer the Russians.

2. What had McNamara done by the time he took over as Secretary of Defense?
(a) Reviewed American foreign policy.
(b) Instituted successful reforms at Ford.
(c) Consulted with Kennedy about his goals and methods.
(d) Studied and identified the problems at the Pentagon.

3. Who was named to head the U.S. command in Saigon in January 1962?
(a) Maxwell Taylor.
(b) Robert McNamara.
(c) Paul Harkins.
(d) Chester Bowles.

4. Why didn't Kennedy offer the position of Secretary of State to David Bruce?
(a) Bruce was felt to be too academic.
(b) Bruce was felt to be too young.
(c) Bruce was felt to be too old.
(d) Bruce was felt to be too conservative.

5. What were Diem and Nhu's politics relative to the Vietnamese population's politics?
(a) Diem and Nhu were more monarchical than Vietnamese typically were.
(b) Diem and Nhu favored market capitalism more than the people did.
(c) Diem and Nhu relied on the military to enforce their political will.
(d) Diem and Nhu were more communist than the people.

6. Why does Halberstam say Harkins had a hard time firing one of his people in the Mekong Delta?
(a) He was discouraged from using his authority.
(b) He knew the person needing to be fired personally.
(c) He was told that there would be too many repercussions.
(d) He was told that everything was under control there.

7. How many troops were in Vietnam when Kennedy was assassinated?
(a) 3,000.
(b) 200,000.
(c) 5,000.
(d) 20,000.

8. Which problem did NOT arise for the Kennedy administration during 1961?
(a) Arms race.
(b) Escalation of problems in Laos.
(c) Financial crisis.
(d) Bay of Pigs invasion.

9. Why didn't Kennedy formulate a China policy, in Halberstam's account?
(a) China was not a high priority.
(b) China was experiencing a revolution.
(c) He didn't have time.
(d) His China advisor had not been confirmed.

10. What did Robert Lovett remember about Kennedy after the assassination?
(a) Kennedy's romantic ideology.
(b) Kennedy's youth and inexperience.
(c) Kennedy's weakness in the face of challenges.
(d) Kennedy's kindness and consideration.

11. Why did Robert Lovett demur about being appointed in the Kennedy administration?
(a) He was in financial trouble.
(b) He had health problems.
(c) He did not like Kennedy.
(d) He was newly a father.

12. Which cabinet member was opposed to the Bay of Pigs invasion?
(a) Dean Rusk.
(b) McGeorge Bundy.
(c) Chester Bowles.
(d) Robert McNamara.

13. How big a margin did Kennedy win the presidency by?
(a) 1,000,000 votes.
(b) 1.5 million votes.
(c) 500,000 votes.
(d) 100,000 votes.

14. What mistake had the Kennedy administration made in the Bay of Pigs invasion?
(a) They had not supplied enough men and material.
(b) They had not checked the weather for the invasion.
(c) They had underestimated the logistical difficulties of a landing.
(d) They had not seen that the Cuban people were not opposed to Castro.

15. Whose input did the French and Americans ignore about Vietnam, in Halberstam's account?
(a) Generals.
(b) Diplomats.
(c) Military advisers.
(d) Lower-level officers.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Kennedy ask Chester Bowles for advice on?

2. Where did the first confrontation take place in Indochina?

3. What state does Halberstam say the Vietcong were in when Kennedy sent the fact-finding mission in 1961?

4. What does Halberstam say was the problem with the Kennedy administration's pragmatism?

5. Whom did Robert Lovett recommend to Kennedy for Secretary of State?

(see the answer keys)

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