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. How was the situation changing in South Vietnam in early 1965?

2. What were people calling for by Thanksgiving 1964, in Halberstam's account?

3. Who was the only administration insider arguing against escalation?

4. What was the outcome of the first confrontation between Vietcong and U.S. troops?

5. What does Halberstam say was going to cause the realities of the war to be made public?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did the Johnson administration tell America as it committed more troops to Vietnam?

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

3. What happened to Diem and Nhu during the coup?

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

5. What does Halberstam say began to change in early 1964?

6. What was the military's position on bombing North Vietnam?

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

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

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

10. What happened during the second Gulf of Tonkin incident?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What must McGeorge Bundy or Robert McNamara or President Johnson have thought about the Vietnam war? Write a journal entry as if you were them.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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