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 measures does Halberstam say Washington, D.C. took when the soldiers dissented over conditions?

2. How many soldiers had the U.S. sent to Vietnam in its first commitment of troops?

3. What does Halberstam say was Robert McNamara's role in the White House policy discussions?

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

5. What does Halberstam say happened that strained the relationship between Diem and the Buddhists?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What issues were discussed as there started to be struggles over Vietnam strategy in mid-1965?

3. What were the questions people were asking on the issue of bombing the North?

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

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

6. What does Halberstam say the effect of the Vietnam war on the American people was?

7. What were the alternatives the staff in Vietnam laid out for Maxwell Taylor when he visited Vietnam in the fall of 1964?

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

9. What does Halberstam say was Johnson's approach to paying for the war?

10. What does Halberstam say became clear to the American government after Diem's death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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