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

2. Where did the first confrontation take place in Indochina?
(a) Cambodia.
(b) Laos.
(c) Vietnam.
(d) Malaysia.

3. Which problem did NOT arise for the Kennedy administration during 1961?
(a) Arms race.
(b) Escalation of problems in Laos.
(c) Financial crisis.
(d) Bay of Pigs invasion.

4. Why does Halberstam say Harkins had a hard time firing one of his people in the Mekong Delta?
(a) He was discouraged from using his authority.
(b) He was told that everything was under control there.
(c) He was told that there would be too many repercussions.
(d) He knew the person needing to be fired personally.

5. What did Robert Lovett remember about Kennedy after the assassination?
(a) Kennedy's kindness and consideration.
(b) Kennedy's youth and inexperience.
(c) Kennedy's romantic ideology.
(d) Kennedy's weakness in the face of challenges.

Short Answer Questions

1. What had McNamara done by the time he took over as Secretary of Defense?

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

3. What mistake had the Kennedy administration made in the Bay of Pigs invasion?

4. Where was the war going well, at the time when the White House was losing faith in Diem, according to Halberstam?

5. On which issue does Halberstam say the military lost its battle with the White House?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Vietnam's problems with the Buddhist monks.

2. Why does Halberstam say Chester Bowles' popularity faded?

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

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

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

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

7. How did the fall of China and the Cold War affect the Kennedy administration?

8. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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