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. Where did most of the sayings, such as "a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches", that were part of Truman's upbringing, originate?

2. What new inventions did Truman never learn to use or like?

3. What pet name did Truman have for Bess?

4. Whose photographs does Harry carry in his uniform pocket during the entire war?

5. Who did Roosevelt want as his Vice President?

Short Essay Questions

1. Do you think Harry was a good farmer? Explain your answer with examples from Chapter 3. .

2. Truman's reputation as a fair but uncompromising leader is established during his chairmanship of the Truman Committee. Why?

3. When Truman receives a summons to the White House on April 12, 1945, why did he run instead of walk? How is this sequence of events so different from what it would be in today's world?

4. Compared to the Slaughter family farm, the Trumans were always broke. Why do you think this was so?

5. Why was it important for Truman to spend so much time as a new President with the funeral of Roosevelt?

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

7. Truman was up against several other individuals for the position of Vice President. Why do you think he was the best candidate? Cover personal integrity, ability to gain votes, political record & experience, and life experience.

8. 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.

9. 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?

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

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

Essay Topic 2

Why do you think Roosevelt made the choice of Vice President so difficult? Discuss the factors you believe led to this confusion, including Roosevelt's health, the structure of the Democratic party as it differs from today, and the tendency for Roosevelt to manipulate his team.

Essay Topic 3

From all accounts, Truman was an excellent soldier and fearless leader during WWI. What skills do you think he took with him from this experience that would make him a good President? Cover these points in your answer: 1) his personality, 2) his courage, 3) his abilities to make decisions, 4) giving him an international rather than a small town American perspective.

(see the answer keys)

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