The Best and the Brightest Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Halberstam say the administration had led the American people to believe about the war?

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

3. What position did Maxwell Taylor begin to support as a result of his late 1964 trip to Vietnam?

4. Whose staff does Halberstam say outlined three responses to the American bombing campaign?

5. What does Halberstam say affected the American attitude toward the war?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Write a critical review of "The Best and the Brightest": what does Halberstam do well, and what parts of the book are not well-executed? Considering recent revelations regarding the war, how prescient was Halberstam in his history?

Essay Topic 2

How did American support influence Diem and Khanh? Did it make them more or less legitimate in the eyes of the Vietnamese? If there were problems caused by overt American support, say also what roles were played by Vietnamese society and by the personalities of Diem and Khanh.

Essay Topic 3

Describe Halberstam as a biographer and historian. What are his preoccupations? What does he not consider? What are his narrative techniques, and what literary techniques does he use to describe the people and actions that comprise "The Best and the Brightest"?

(see the answer keys)

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