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 rule does Halberstam say Kennedy was following in trying to appoint a Secretary of State?
(a) Someone who didn't look back at bad decisions, but plowed ahead.
(b) Someone who had not made many mistakes or offended too many people.
(c) Someone who had learned from his mistakes and had diplomatic experience.
(d) Someone who had a strong intuition.

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

3. Why was Chester Bowles assigned to a different position?
(a) He had been caught saying embarrassing things on an open mic.
(b) He had leaked confidential information to the press.
(c) He had quarreled with Bobby Kennedy over who was in charge in Kennedy's absence.
(d) He had disgraced himself by having an affair with one of his pages.

4. How many troops were in Vietnam when Kennedy was assassinated?
(a) 3,000.
(b) 200,000.
(c) 20,000.
(d) 5,000.

5. What does Halberstam say was the result of the Thanksgiving Day Massacre?
(a) Maxwell Taylor was removed from his position.
(b) Kennedy increased the number of troops in Vietnam.
(c) Troops were withdrawn from the Mekong Delta.
(d) Averell Harriman was named Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Halberstam say Dean Rusk felt about his interview with Kennedy for the Secretary of State job?

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

3. Who was Kennedy's military analyst on the 1961 fact-finding mission?

4. How did McNamara achieve his goals while he was at Ford?

5. Where does Halberstam say McNamara found people to work under him as Secretary of Defense?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How did the situation in Vietnam unfold?

4. Whom did Kennedy consider for the position of Secretary of State?

5. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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