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. Whose theories had been used as the basis for expanded militarization in the late 1940s?

2. What events does Halberstam say affected American perceptions of its global priorities?

3. When did Kennedy first send advisers to Vietnam?

4. How does Halberstam say McNamara learned about the affairs in Vietnam?

5. How did Kennedy see Adlai Stevenson?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Halberstam say Kennedy was confronted with at the beginning of "The Best and the Brightest"?

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

3. Who was Chester Bowles, and what did Kennedy get by tapping Bowles to be an adviser?

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

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

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

7. What kind of reports does Halberstam say the U.S. got from Vietnam?

8. What was McNamara's stance with regard to nuclear weapons?

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

10. What crises confronted the Kennedy administration in 1961?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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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