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

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

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

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

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

4. What did Chester Bowles think was the most important issue to confront?
(a) Race issues.
(b) Budget cuts.
(c) Military expansion.
(d) Poverty.

5. What does Halberstam say was the result of the Chinese Revolution and the McCarthy period?
(a) The U.S. took an aggressive stance toward Communism.
(b) The U.S. sought out diplomatic solutions.
(c) The U.S. strengthened trade ties in Europe.
(d) The U.S. took pre-emptive action against Communism.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. When did Kennedy become well known in Washington?

3. What did the fact-finding mission discover at about the time of the problem with the Buddhist monks?

4. What had McNamara done by the time he took over as Secretary of Defense?

5. Why did the Americans back down on demands for reform in Vietnam in 1962, in Halberstam's account?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Vietnam's problems with the Buddhist monks.

2. What does Halberstam say was McNamara's relationship with Kennedy?

3. What three plans does Halberstam say the U.S. was considering in Vietnam in 1961?

4. Why didn't the U.S. gain the loyalty of the Vietnamese peasants?

5. What does Halberstam say was Robert McNamara's background before becoming Secretary of Defense?

6. What was the Kennedy administration's stance with regard to Russia?

7. Describe U.S. engagements in Vietnam in the 1950s.

8. Whom did Kennedy consider for the position of Secretary of State?

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

10. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

(see the answer keys)

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