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

2. Why didn't Kennedy offer the position of Secretary of State to J. William Fulbright?
(a) Fulbright was too old and conservative.
(b) Fulbright had some unresolved scandals in his past.
(c) Fublright was too young and inexperienced.
(d) Fulbright did not have the support of Negroes or Jews.

3. What was Kennedy in the process of doing at the beginning of the book?
(a) Campaigning for president.
(b) Serving on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
(c) Assembling an administration.
(d) Winning the election for president.

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

5. What position had Robert Lovett been appointed to in 1947?
(a) Secretary of the Interior.
(b) Undersecretary of State.
(c) Secretary of State.
(d) Secretary of Defense.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why didn't Kennedy offer the position of Secretary of State to McGeorge Bundy?

2. Which of these was NOT a point of disagreement between the White House and the military, in Halberstam's account?

3. What kind of reports does Halberstam say would come from the head of the U.S. command after his 1962 appointment?

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

5. How many troops were in Vietnam when Kennedy was assassinated?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who was interested in overthrowing Diem?

2. What does Halberstam say began to change in early 1964?

3. Who was Robert McNamara and what was his role in the formation of Vietnam policy?

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

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

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

7. How did the meeting between Lovett and Kennedy play in the press?

8. What does Halberstam say became clear to the American government after Diem's death?

9. What does Halberstam say McNamara found in Vietnam when the Johnson administration took over?

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

(see the answer keys)

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