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

2. Who was Kennedy's military analyst on the 1961 fact-finding mission?

3. What did the Kennedy administration represent to America?

4. Where was the war going well, at the time when the White House was losing faith in Diem, according to Halberstam?

5. What family was McGeorge Bundy descended from?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What did Kennedy's representatives report back after their 1961 fact-finding mission?

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

4. What does Halberstam say began to change in early 1964?

5. How did the situation in Vietnam unfold?

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

7. How did the reality of the war become public information?

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

9. What was President Johnson's position with regard to bombing?

10. Who was McGeorge Bundy, and what was his role in the Kennedy administration?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the conditions that led to the coup against Diem and the credibility gap in America. Was the U.S. ripe for a coup the same way that the Diem regime was considered ripe for a coup? What forces were arguing for regime change in America? Why were they ultimately unsuccessful? (Was regime change ultimately what protesters in the U.S. wanted?)

Essay Topic 2

Argue for the appropriateness or the inappropriateness of executive secrecy as it was used during the Johnson administration. What factors and evidence mitigates the need for executive transparency? What factors and evidence makes transparency an absolute requirement?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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