The Best and the Brightest Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What made McGeorge Bundy an effective administrator?

2. Why was Chester Bowles assigned to a different position?

3. Whom had Eleanor Roosevelt wanted Kennedy to appoint as Secretary of State?

4. Which problem did NOT arise for the Kennedy administration during 1961?

5. Why does Halberstam say Harkins had a hard time firing one of his people in the Mekong Delta?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What was the American government's relationship with Diem in 1961?

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

5. What was the Kennedy administration's image with the American people?

6. Who was Dean Rusk, and what was his role and place in the Kennedy administration?

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

8. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Using evidence from Halberstam's text, describe how the Vietnam War affected America's relationship with the community of nations--particularly China and Russia, its Communist foes. What did the Vietnam war do for American interests abroad? How did it affect America's reputation and image?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the strategies of Robert McNamara and General Westmoreland for bombing and search-and-destroy missions. What were the costs and benefits of either approach to the war against the Vietcong? Were they complementary, or did they work at cross-purposes?

Essay Topic 3

What lessons did the U.S. learn from the Bay of Pigs invasion, and how were these lessons visible in the planning for military campaigns in Vietnam? Did the Bay of Pigs invasion sour the U.S. war planners on relying on local forces? Did it foster the argument for bombing instead of troops on the ground?

(see the answer keys)

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