The Best and the Brightest Test | Final 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. Who was the only administration insider arguing against escalation?

2. What was Paul Kattenburg's view of the war, in early 1964?

3. How did Lyndon Johnson want to be remembered, in Halberstam's account?

4. How does Halberstam say Johnson conducted planning for the Vietnam war?

5. Who does Halberstam say eventually took on the role of setting the tone for Vietnam policy?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happened during the Gulf of Tonkin incident?

2. What program did Maxwell Taylor call for in the paper he wrote on his way back from Vietnam?

3. What was Rolling Thunder and what was its purpose?

4. Describe what Halberstam calls 'the Bundy trip' to Vietnam.

5. What does Halberstam say Maxwell Taylor said were the three issues confronting the U.S. in its Vietnam planning?

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

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

8. What was Dean Rusk's role in Vietnam after Kennedy's assassination?

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

10. What was the result of the Spring Offensive?

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

Kennedy was a young president, and he was thought to be inexperienced. What was Kennedy's relationship with the past, and with politicians who went before him? What did he take from them, and which of their policies was he intent on changing?

(see the answer keys)

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