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. When did the problem with the Buddhist monks begin?
(a) November 1962.
(b) April 1962.
(c) March 1961.
(d) May 1963.

2. What rule does Halberstam say Kennedy was following in trying to appoint a Secretary of State?
(a) Someone who had learned from his mistakes and had diplomatic experience.
(b) Someone who didn't look back at bad decisions, but plowed ahead.
(c) Someone who had a strong intuition.
(d) Someone who had not made many mistakes or offended too many people.

3. How long had Ho Chi Minh's communism associations been known to the U.S., in Halberstam's account?
(a) Since 1931.
(b) Since 1954.
(c) Since 1941.
(d) Since 1946.

4. When Kennedy did not authorize more troops, what does Halberstam say he told the Pentagon?
(a) To plan to redeploy combat troops.
(b) To develop an exit strategy.
(c) To prepare a larger engagement.
(d) To develop plans to expand the war to Cambodia.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Whom did Kennedy want to act as Secretary of State?

2. What issue did Joseph McCarthy use to energize voters?

3. What does Halberstam say Americans were disunited about in the early 1960s?

4. What were Eleanor Roosevelt's feelings about Kennedy?

5. What does Halberstam say McNamara learned that he had to do in order to argue against nuclear weapons?

Short Essay Questions

1. What issues were discussed as there started to be struggles over Vietnam strategy in mid-1965?

2. Describe the confrontation in Laos.

3. What does Halberstam say happened when Westmoreland assumed control?

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

5. What did the Johnson administration tell America as it committed more troops to Vietnam?

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

7. What happened during the Gulf of Tonkin incident?

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

9. Why didn't the U.S. gain the loyalty of the Vietnamese peasants?

10. What does Halberstam say became clear to the American government after Diem's death?

(see the answer keys)

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