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. Why is Chapter 2 entitled "Model Boy?"

3. What was Roosevelt's continuing admonition to his departments regarding defense production in 1941?

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

5. What are the names of Harry's brother and sister?

Short Essay Questions

1. Some wives of politicians are active in their husband's campaigns and in D.C. social life to assist their reputations. Bess Truman was definitely not this type of political wife. Why do you think this is?

2. The title of this chapter is "Patriot". Why do you think the author chose this title?

3. The author entitled Chapter 8 "Numbered Days." Whose days are being referred to here?

4. Tom Pendergast's advice to Harry Truman as he left for D.C. was "Work hard, keep your mouth shut, and answer your mail." Was this good advice for the new senator? Why?

5. Was trench warfare a reasonable strategy of fighting a war? Why or why not?

6. 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?

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

8. Was Truman adequately prepared to assume the role of President? If you choose to answer no, detail what attributes or knowledge Truman needed to do a good job. If you choose to answer yes, outline what qualities or experience Truman had to prepare him for the job.

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

10. Describe Harry's father and mother, using the following criteria: 1) appearance, 2) religious beliefs and upbringing, 3) admirable qualities, 4) values they can teach Truman to make him a good President, leader and man.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How did the introduction of atomic weapons change the world in 1) warfare, 2) alliances with other countries, 3) definition of world power, and 4) America's perception of itself?

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

Once Truman was introduced to politics back in Independence, Missouri, he knew he had found his career. In your opinion, was Truman a good politician? Address these topics in your essay: 1) political connections, 2) political strategy, 3) political decisions

(see the answer keys)

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