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

2. What did Kennedy ask Chester Bowles for advice on?
(a) Foreign policy.
(b) Budget cuts.
(c) Campaigning.
(d) Military analysis.

3. Which of these was NOT a point of disagreement between the White House and the military, in Halberstam's account?
(a) The use of napalm.
(b) The commitment of advisers.
(c) The free fire zones.
(d) The use of jets.

4. What does Halberstam say Americans were disunited about in the early 1960s?
(a) How to balance the budget.
(b) How to reduce nuclear weapons.
(c) How to go about fighting Communism.
(d) How to establish peace.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What was Kennedy's position on the Cold War policies of his predecessors?

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

3. Whom did Robert Lovett recommend to Kennedy for Secretary of Defense?

4. What policies had Robert Lovett been involved in crafting?

5. Why didn't Kennedy offer the position of Secretary of State to David Bruce?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who was Dean Rusk, and what was his role and place in the Kennedy administration?

2. How did the White House eventually try to limit the military?

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

4. How did the situation in Vietnam unfold?

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

6. Describe the atmosphere in America when Kennedy took office.

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

8. What was the American government's relationship with Diem in 1961?

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

10. Describe the confrontation in Laos.

(see the answer keys)

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