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 position had Robert Lovett been appointed to in 1947?

2. What does Halberstam say was the state of tensions within the White House as involvement in Vietnam escalated?

3. How long had Ho Chi Minh's communism associations been known to the U.S., in Halberstam's account?

4. What policy did Rostow support in Vietnam?

5. What did the Kennedy administration represent to America?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

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

7. Why does Halberstam say Chester Bowles' popularity faded?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does the containment of the 1960s differ from the preemptive foreign policy of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. How has American foreign policy changed since the 1960s?

Essay Topic 2

What kind of administrative or bureaucratic changes could have helped the war effort in Vietnam? Specifically, how could U.S. commanders have ensured that accurate information flowed unimpeded from troops and analysts in Vietnam to military planners in the U.S.? What factors in the military or political establishment created this problem?

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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