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

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

3. What family was McGeorge Bundy descended from?
(a) The New England Lowells.
(b) The Roosevelts.
(c) The New York Blisses.
(d) The Rockefellers.

4. Which situation had the biggest effect on the Kennedy administration in 1961?
(a) The Bay of Pigs.
(b) China policy.
(c) The financial crisis.
(d) The Gulf of Tonkin incident.

5. What made McGeorge Bundy an effective administrator?
(a) He had a rigid sense of principle.
(b) He did not brook opposition.
(c) He could sense what others were thinking and what they needed.
(d) He listened to others and used their ideas.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What position did the Kennedy administration take with regard to nuclear disarmament?

3. What position had Robert Lovett been appointed to in 1947?

4. What does Halberstam say was the result of the Thanksgiving Day Massacre?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Halberstam say Kennedy was confronted with at the beginning of "The Best and the Brightest"?

2. What was McNamara's stance with regard to nuclear weapons?

3. What were Americans beginning to say with regard to Diem after the Buddhist monk problems began?

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

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

6. What did Kennedy's representatives report back after their 1961 fact-finding mission?

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

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

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

10. Why did Diem and the U.S. end up working together?

(see the answer keys)

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