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 does Halberstam say marked the end of the generals' faith in Diem?
(a) The raid on the pagodas.
(b) The drought and subsequent humanitarian crisis.
(c) The influence of American interests on Diem's government.
(d) The backlash against the army after the botched raids on the pagodas.

2. What committee had Kennedy served on in the Senate?
(a) Foreign Relations Committee.
(b) Military Affairs Committee.
(c) Judiciary Committee.
(d) Banking and Finance Committee.

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What did the fact-finding mission discover at about the time of the problem with the Buddhist monks?

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

3. What was Kennedy's relationship with the press during his presidential campaign?

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

5. How long had Ho Chi Minh's communism associations been known to the U.S., in Halberstam's account?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Describe the confrontation in Laos.

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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