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 does Halberstam say the Americans responded when the Vietcong attacked Pleiku?

2. When did the Spring offensive start in Vietnam?

3. When does Halberstam say the Johnson administration realized that Bundy was necessary to their planning?

4. What did Johnson say he needed before they could move against the North?

5. What does Halberstam say happened when control shifted out of Taylor's hands in March and April 1965?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the result of the first direct confrontation with Vietcong and American troops?

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

3. What does Halberstam say happened when Westmoreland assumed control?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

How did the Vietnam war affect the U.S. government's bureaucratic organization? Analyze Halberstam's history and describe the changes that were made in the roles and structure of the government as a result of or in reaction to the situation in Vietnam. How did Kennedy and Johnson create special positions or grant special powers to individuals around them? How did the system of checks and balances work in relationship to the privacy and secrecy of the war planners?

(see the answer keys)

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