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 are the names of Harry's brother and sister?

2. What career did Margaret Truman plan to enter?

3. Although Harry writes many letters to Bess, he cannot master one art of good correspondence. What is it?

4. What did Roosevelt say were the Four Freedoms?

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

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. This chapter is entitled "The Senator from Pendergast" and not "The Senator from Missouri." Why?

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

4. 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?

5. At one time, Truman had expressed a desire to attend West Point, but after his experience in war, he decided not to go. Why?

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

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

8. Truman's job at the bank in Kansas City taught him about fiscal responsibility. How would this assist a potential president?

9. 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.

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

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

Chapters 1 and 2 of the novel describe Truman's ancestors, Missouri, his religious upbringing, education, interests and friends. Pick one of these subjects and prepare a presentation in the format of your choosing as to: 1) The impact on Truman's presidency, 2) how this set him apart from other politicians of his era, and 3) how it affected his decision making as a president and a politician.

Essay Topic 3

How does the Truman Committee reinforce Truman's long-held belief that American large corporations are corrupt? Give specific examples.

(see the answer keys)

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