Thirteen Days; a Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis Test | Mid-Book 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. Who was U Thant?

2. According to Robert in the section, "It was now up to one single man," what did JFK stress in his speech to the nation?

3. What did Secretary McNamara do, despite his dissent to the strategy?

4. Who said, "they, no more than we, can let these things go by without doing something. They can't after all their statements, permit us to take out their missiles, kill a lot of Russians, and then do nothing. If they don't take action in Cuba, they certainly will in Berlin" (28)?

5. What was the name of the first tanker to reach the barrier?

Short Essay Questions

1. When was Congress told, and how did Congress react to the news of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

2. Why does RFK defend Adlai Stevenson's suggestion?

3. Why does RFK slip the President a note saying "I now know how Tojo felt when he was planning Pearl Harbor" (25)? How do the situations compare?

4. What was one argument for a blockade?

5. What other actions did the U.S. take besides the blockade?

6. How did the US obtain their information about Russian activity in Cuba?

7. What personal insights does RFK provide about JFK when they are waiting for news about the first ships meant to reach the blockade?

8. What did Ambassador Dobrynin provide as evidence that USSR would not be a threat to the United States?

9. What was ironic about JFK's meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrea Gromyko?

10. How did Ex Comm formulate their recommendations to the President?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The prospect of nuclear holocaust haunts several of the men involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis (and on both sides). In an essay, identify who felt strongly about nuclear holocaust and why. What is involved in a nuclear war? How many would die? Was nuclear holocaust actually possible? Use the novel to support your conclusions.

Essay Topic 2

The Munich Agreement/Conference has influenced political decisions for many years since its occurrence. In an essay, describe what happened in Munich and compare and contrast this with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Is the Munich Agreement/Conference still relevant today? How so?

Essay Topic 3

The fact that JFK was hesitant to actually stop a ship with the blockade demonstrates that the blockade was more symbolic than meant as an actual solution. In an essay, discuss how the blockade was symbolic. How were JFK's choices regarding the line of interception symbolic? What was symbolic about the first ship intercepted? What message was all of this meant to convey?

(see the answer keys)

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