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. Who does Halberstam say was making the case for bombing after the 1964 election?

2. What happened in the Gulf of Tonkin as a part of 34A?

3. How does Halberstam say the Americans responded when the Vietcong attacked Pleiku?

4. Who was it who authorized a paper that would rationalize an exit from Vietnam?

5. What problem does Halberstam say Maxwell Taylor had in Vietnam?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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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