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 long had Ho Chi Minh's communism associations been known to the U.S., in Halberstam's account?
(a) Since 1941.
(b) Since 1954.
(c) Since 1946.
(d) Since 1931.

2. What had happened to reduce the Communism threat by the time McNamara took over as Secretary of Defense?
(a) Russia and China had split.
(b) McCarthy had purged Communists from American politics.
(c) Communism had failed in North Korea.
(d) Cuba had instituted its own version of Communism.

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

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

5. Whom did Kennedy want to act as Secretary of State?
(a) Chester Bowles.
(b) Adlai Stevenson.
(c) He was going to abolish the position of Secretary of State.
(d) He was going to act as his own Secretary of State.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Halberstam say Dean Rusk felt in the Kennedy administration?

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

3. When did Kennedy become well known in Washington?

4. How did Kennedy see Adlai Stevenson?

5. What committee had Kennedy served on in the Senate?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who was Kennedy, and how did he become well known?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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