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 going to cause the realities of the war to be made public?

2. How was the situation changing in South Vietnam in early 1965?

3. What does Halberstam say was decided at the April 20, 1965 meeting in Honolulu?

4. What does Halberstam say was the purpose of operation Rolling Thunder?

5. Who does Halberstam say was especially vocal in calling for a change in U.S. Vietnam policy?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What was President Johnson's position regarding Vietnam in the early days of his presidency?

3. What does Halberstam say was Johnson's approach to paying for the war?

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

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

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

7. What was the result of the Spring Offensive?

8. How did the reality of the war become public information?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a critical review of "The Best and the Brightest": what does Halberstam do well, and what parts of the book are not well-executed? Considering recent revelations regarding the war, how prescient was Halberstam in his history?

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 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.

(see the answer keys)

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