Truman Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David McCullough
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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 epidemics decimated the families in Independence during the years of 1851-1854?

2. What are two traits Truman especially disliked about his fellow politicians?

3. How many members did the Truman Committee have?

4. Which country becomes a focal point of disagreement between USA and the Soviets?

5. What pivotal event occurred on December 7, 1941?

Short Essay Questions

1. Re-read the section on U.S. Steel's involvement in manufacturing and supplying the Navy with defective steel. What was their motivation for this deception? How did they rationalize it with the Truman Committee? In their opinion, was the action of the US Steel Company right or wrong?

2. What experience does Truman bring to this Senate investigation? Outline specifically which jobs he held in the past that would contribute to his ability to lead this important committee.

3. Why do you think the land around Independence was called Blue River Country?

4. Although Harry did not partake in sports or outdoor activities as other boys, no one ever called him a "sissy." Why do you think that was?

5. How is Truman's approach to the press so different from Roosevelt's?

6. Read Part II of Chapter 5 again regarding Truman & Jacobson. Did the partners exercise good judgment in their selection of product, marketing and customers? Why do you think the store failed?

7. Although money was always a problem for Truman, when given the opportunity to make millions at the expense of the government, he chose not to. Why?

8. Tom Pedergast was considered a villain by some, and a Robin Hood by others. Why?

9. In the first chapter of the book, Truman's ancestors are the focus, and he does not enter the story until late in this chapter. Why would the author begin in this manner?

10. Why did the Kansas-Nebraska Act cause so much trouble in Missouri?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

After the Soviet Union acquires the bomb, the author states "It was a different world now." What does he mean by that statement? Was it better for the world for one country alone to have the weapon? Was it better for the two most powerful countries to have the bomb? In your opinion, which countries should have atomic weapons?

Essay Topic 2

Based upon what is reported in this novel regarding Japan's attitude towards surrender and the outcome of the war, would you have ordered the use of the atomic bomb?

Essay Topic 3

Why did Truman's streak of popularity with the American people begin to fail in this phase of his career, just before his second term of office?

(see the answer keys)

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