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 kind of problem does Halberstam say the cost of the war caused for the Johnson administration?

2. How does Halberstam say the U.S. spun the Gulf of Tonkin incident?

3. Who tipped off Senator Wayne Morse about the real situation of the Gulf of Tonkin incident?

4. What stance does Halberstam say the administration took as the public sentiment deteriorated?

5. What does Halberstam say was the effect of the Gulf of Tonkin incident on the U.S. government?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What does Halberstam say McNamara found in Vietnam when the Johnson administration took over?

6. What program did Maxwell Taylor call for in the paper he wrote on his way back from Vietnam?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Using the hindsight gained by "The Best and the Brightest", would you say that the war in Vietnam was a local conflict that could have been left to resolve itself, or would you say that if left unaddressed, Vietnam would have been one of the dominoes in a string of nations the Communists took over? Put another way: would the internal tensions in Vietnam have dogged the Communists just as badly as they dogged the Americans and the American-backed South Vietnamese government, if the Vietcong had ever acquired power there?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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