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 was Robert McNamara's role in the White House policy discussions?
(a) McNamara followed the will of the other advisers.
(b) McNamara dominated discussions.
(c) McNamara enforced Kennedy's will.
(d) McNamara filled in the details of others' plans.

2. What does Halberstam say happened that threatened the relationship between Diem and the Buddhists?
(a) The Buddhists expanded their protests.
(b) The people backed the Buddhists against Diem.
(c) Diem reneged on his promises.
(d) Diem and Nhu retreated into aristocratic aloofness.

3. What policies had Robert Lovett been involved in crafting?
(a) The Marshall plan.
(b) A reorganization of the military.
(c) Changes to Medicare.
(d) Treaties with China and Russia.

4. Where was the war going badly, at the time when the White House was losing faith in Diem?
(a) Around Saigon.
(b) In Pleiku.
(c) In the Mekong Delta.
(d) In Quang Nam.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Robert Lovett demur about being appointed in the Kennedy administration?

2. On which issue does Halberstam say Kennedy compromised with the military?

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

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Who was Frederick Nolting, and what was his role in Vietnam?

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

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

8. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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