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

2. Whom did Robert Lovett recommend to Kennedy for Secretary of State?
(a) Robert McNamara.
(b) Dean Rusk.
(c) Chester Bowles.
(d) McGeorge Bundy.

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

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

5. Why did the Americans back down on demands for reform in Vietnam in 1962, in Halberstam's account?
(a) Reforms had already been accomplished.
(b) Diem had begun to renege on his promises.
(c) Diem could not afford reforms.
(d) They lost confidence that reforms could be implemented.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What state does Halberstam say the Vietcong were in when Kennedy sent the fact-finding mission in 1961?

3. How big a margin did Kennedy win the presidency by?

4. How did the Kennedy administration see the war in Vietnam?

5. What does Halberstam say marked the end of the generals' faith in Diem?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Who was Robert A. Lovett, and what does Halberstam say he signified for Kennedy?

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

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

10. What was the Kennedy administration's image with the American people?

(see the answer keys)

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