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

2. How did McNamara achieve his goals while he was at Ford?
(a) He used a bonus system.
(b) He got his people to compete against each other.
(c) He intimidated his inferiors.
(d) He inspired his underlings with rhetoric.

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

4. What does Halberstam say was the state of tensions within the White House as involvement in Vietnam escalated?
(a) Aides gathered around Kennedy's will.
(b) Long and open debates brought new ideas to the policies.
(c) Anyone who disagreed with Kennedy was removed.
(d) There were many disagreements.

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

6. What policy did Rostow support in Vietnam?
(a) A policy of rapprochement.
(b) An aggressive anti-Communist policy.
(c) Battleship diplomacy.
(d) An appeasement policy.

7. When did Kennedy first send advisers to Vietnam?
(a) February 1962.
(b) June 1963.
(c) October 1961.
(d) May 1962.

8. Whom did Kennedy ask to be Secretary of State instead of Adlai Stevenson?
(a) McGeorge Bundy.
(b) Chester Bowles.
(c) Robert McNamara.
(d) Dean Rusk.

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

10. What had Robert Lovett been before entering government?
(a) A career military officer.
(b) An investment banker.
(c) An insurance salesman.
(d) An automobile executive.

11. What does Halberstam say McNamara learned that he had to do in order to argue against nuclear weapons?
(a) Make a good argument for conventional weapons.
(b) Discredit military analysts in favor of nuclear weapons.
(c) Make emotional appeals to the electorate.
(d) Demonize his opponents.

12. What measures does Halberstam say Washington, D.C. took when the soldiers dissented over conditions?
(a) They repressed the dissent.
(b) They held Congressional hearings.
(c) They arrested any soldiers who spoke against the government.
(d) They held town hall meeting where soldiers could air their views.

13. How long had Ho Chi Minh's communism associations been known to the U.S., in Halberstam's account?
(a) Since 1954.
(b) Since 1946.
(c) Since 1941.
(d) Since 1931.

14. What does Halberstam say was Robert McNamara's role in the White House policy discussions?
(a) McNamara followed the will of the other advisers.
(b) McNamara enforced Kennedy's will.
(c) McNamara filled in the details of others' plans.
(d) McNamara dominated discussions.

15. What committee had Kennedy served on in the Senate?
(a) Judiciary Committee.
(b) Banking and Finance Committee.
(c) Military Affairs Committee.
(d) Foreign Relations Committee.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Whose theories had been used as the basis for expanded militarization in the late 1940s?

3. What did Kennedy represent to Eleanor Roosevelt's followers?

4. What was Kennedy in the process of doing at the beginning of the book?

5. What were Diem and Nhu's politics relative to the Vietnamese population's politics?

(see the answer keys)

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