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 was the Armistice?

2. When did the Democratic party decide to place Truman as Vice President on their ticket?

3. Where did the Truman family live until the Roosevelt family departed the White House?

4. How did Truman's men move their equipment around France?

5. What career did Margaret Truman plan to enter?

Short Essay Questions

1. Uncle Harrison is mentioned many times in the early chapters of the book as someone Truman admired and enjoyed. Why?

2. The title of this chapter is "The Buck Stops Here." Where does this expression come from and how does it apply to Harry Truman?

3. Describe General MacArthur, covering the following points: 1) appearance, 2) method of speaking, 3) personality as described in the book.

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

5. In campaigning, Truman is not a skilled orator, but people remember him. Why?

6. Why did Truman choose Stevenson as his successor?

7. Why did Roosevelt keep so many secrets from his Vice President? List your opinion regarding Roosevelt's 1) possession of power, 2) distrust of anyone other than his chosen circle, and 3) whether or not the president should keep some secrets from the rest of the world.

8. 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?

9. Read the coverage of the speech Truman gave on March 12, 1947, page 547 in the book. This became known as the Truman Doctrine. Why?

10. Stalin is described as a personable, likable man; yet he ordered the murder of millions of people in his own country. Was there any indication in the activities of the Potsdam Conference that reveal this side of his character? Give examples.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Why were Americans, and southern Democrats in particular, so opposed to the inclusion of minorities in the rights of other Americans?

Essay Topic 3

Truman and Roosevelt were men from completely different backgrounds and political experience. What specific obstacles did Truman have to overcome when assuming President Roosevelt's job that were caused by Roosevelt's attitude towards 1) world affairs, 2) the power of the presidency, and 3) sharing secrets with others outside his private circle.

(see the answer keys)

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