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

3. In what way does Halberstam say that Lyndon Johnson resembled Kennedy in his management style?

4. What does Halberstam say was the beginning of the 'credibility gap'?

5. What does Halberstam say the administration had led the American people to believe about the war?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Describe what Halberstam calls 'the Bundy trip' to Vietnam.

6. What was the result of the Spring Offensive?

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

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

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

10. Who was interested in overthrowing Diem?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the conditions that led to the coup against Diem and the credibility gap in America. Was the U.S. ripe for a coup the same way that the Diem regime was considered ripe for a coup? What forces were arguing for regime change in America? Why were they ultimately unsuccessful? (Was regime change ultimately what protesters in the U.S. wanted?)

Essay Topic 2

John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama share certain similarities, insofar as they were both young and charismatic leaders with relatively little experience, but represented a new way of doing things. Compare and contrast the early political careers and elections of these two presidents. How were they temperamentally similar? How did they relate to the old guard? How were their ascensions different?

Essay Topic 3

Did the Vietnam War mark a change in American ideology? Was the concept of natural rights changed or abandoned? Was Vietnam a war like other wars America had fought, or was it unprecedented? How did the U.S. government's response to the opposition to the war change the nature of citizenship and political activity in America?

(see the answer keys)

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