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

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

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

4. Which issue was NOT confronting the nation when the Kennedy administration took office?
(a) Civil rights.
(b) Reconstruction.
(c) Missiles.
(d) China policy.

5. What had happened to reduce the Communism threat by the time McNamara took over as Secretary of Defense?
(a) Communism had failed in North Korea.
(b) McCarthy had purged Communists from American politics.
(c) Russia and China had split.
(d) Cuba had instituted its own version of Communism.

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

7. Who was Kennedy's military analyst on the 1961 fact-finding mission?
(a) Robert McNamara.
(b) McGeorge Bundy.
(c) Chester Bowles.
(d) Maxwell Taylor.

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

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

10. Whose theories had been used as the basis for expanded militarization in the late 1940s?
(a) Robert McNamara's.
(b) George Kennan's.
(c) McGeorge Bundy's.
(d) Chester Bowles'.

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

12. What does Halberstam say McNamara tried to do with his fact-finding missions to Vietnam?
(a) Publish the truth.
(b) Conceal the deteriorating conditions.
(c) Provide a forum for dissenting soldiers.
(d) Protect the President.

13. What was the logic behind the U.S.'s actions after the 1961 fact-finding mission?
(a) Further delay would defuse the situation.
(b) Wait for the Vietnamese elections.
(c) A show of force would intimidate the Vietcong.
(d) Inaction would allow trade to develop.

14. What did Kennedy represent to Eleanor Roosevelt's followers?
(a) Businessmen.
(b) The new breed.
(c) Old guard.
(d) Foreigners.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. On which issue does Halberstam say the military lost its battle with the White House?

2. Which situation had the biggest effect on the Kennedy administration in 1961?

3. What family was McGeorge Bundy descended from?

4. What issue did Joseph McCarthy use to energize voters?

5. What was the recommendation that came out of the fact-finding mission of 1961?

(see the answer keys)

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