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. Whom did Kennedy ask to be Secretary of State instead of Adlai Stevenson?

2. What did Chester Bowles think was the most important issue to confront?

3. What position had Robert Lovett been appointed to in 1947?

4. What was Kennedy's position on the Cold War policies of his predecessors?

5. Whom did Robert Lovett recommend to Kennedy for Secretary of Defense?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What were Americans beginning to say with regard to Diem after the Buddhist monk problems began?

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

4. Why did Diem and the U.S. end up working together?

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

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

7. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

8. Who was Kennedy, and how did he become well known?

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

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

Compare and contrast John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson's strategies for handling the war in Vietnam. How did they negotiate the complex mixture of voices within the U.S. government in similar ways? How were they different? How did the changes in conditions in the U.S. and in Vietnam account for Johnson's different strategies?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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