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

2. How does Halberstam say Lyndon Johnson felt in the Kennedy administration?
(a) He felt like a socialist among capitalists.
(b) He felt like a midwesterner among East-coast men.
(c) He felt like a relic of previous administrations.
(d) He felt like a teacher among his students.

3. How does Halberstam say McNamara learned about the affairs in Vietnam?
(a) By seeing for himself.
(b) By conducting academic studies.
(c) By reading reports.
(d) By talking to people.

4. Which issue was NOT confronting the nation when the Kennedy administration took office?
(a) Civil rights.
(b) China policy.
(c) Missiles.
(d) Reconstruction.

5. What position did the Kennedy administration take with regard to nuclear disarmament?
(a) Kennedy wanted to eliminate nuclear weapons altogether.
(b) Kennedy wanted to make sure that the U.S. and Russia had comparable arsenals.
(c) Kennedy wanted to reduce the number of nuclear weapons to a reasonable number.
(d) Kennedy wanted to show Kruschev that he was tough.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Why didn't Kennedy formulate a China policy, in Halberstam's account?

3. What rule does Halberstam say Kennedy was following in trying to appoint a Secretary of State?

4. Which situation had the biggest effect on the Kennedy administration in 1961?

5. What events does Halberstam say affected American perceptions of its global priorities?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the confrontation in Laos.

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

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

4. How did the situation in Vietnam unfold?

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

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

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

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

9. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

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

(see the answer keys)

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