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 was the recommendation that came out of the fact-finding mission of 1961?
(a) That the U.S. commit military advisers.
(b) That the U.S. commit 20,000 troops.
(c) That the U.S. send 100,000 troops.
(d) That the U.S. send 8,000 troops.

2. What does Halberstam say McNamara learned that he had to do in order to argue against nuclear weapons?
(a) Make emotional appeals to the electorate.
(b) Demonize his opponents.
(c) Discredit military analysts in favor of nuclear weapons.
(d) Make a good argument for conventional weapons.

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

4. What kind of reports does Halberstam say would come from the head of the U.S. command after his 1962 appointment?
(a) Pragmatic and diplomatic reports.
(b) Unrealistic reports.
(c) Reports that were imperial propaganda.
(d) Highly detailed reports.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Where does the book open?

2. How did the Kennedy administration see the war in Vietnam?

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

4. How many soldiers had the U.S. sent to Vietnam in its first commitment of troops?

5. What policy did Rostow support in Vietnam?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What does Halberstam say was McNamara's relationship with Kennedy?

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

9. Who was Chester Bowles, and what did Kennedy get by tapping Bowles to be an adviser?

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

(see the answer keys)

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