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. What does Halberstam say was the result of the Gulf of Tonkin incident?

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

3. When does Halberstam say the President's thinking about bombing began to change?

4. What does Halberstam say was the conclusion of the study that analyzed the results of a bombing attack against the north?

5. What event does Halberstam say triggered bombing operations against the North?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the intelligence community's assessment of Rolling Thunder?

2. Who expressed doubt about the Vietnam war, and what happened to their opposition?

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What was the public story of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and what was the truth?

10. What was President Johnson's position with regard to bombing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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"?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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