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 element of Truman's style changed during the time of the Truman Committee?

2. Why is Chapter 2 entitled "Model Boy?"

3. What did Truman think was a damaging move by Roosevelt?

4. Who was President of the USA during World War I?

5. How many days was Truman Vice President?

Short Essay Questions

1. Re-read the account of the committee's hearings with Irwin Works, a steel producing plant. What is your opinion of Truman's tactics in determining the truth?

2. Senator Truman's committee to investigate defense spending was timely and changed the way he was viewed by his colleagues and the public. Was that his purpose in proposing this committee? Why do you think he started this effort, and did he accomplish his goals?

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

4. 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?

5. Reading over the description of Independence, MO, beginning on Page 50, describe Truman's hometown as it relates to 1) economic viability, 2) founders and citizens, and 3) education.

6. 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.

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

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

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

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

In Chapter 5, Harry Truman changes from a military man to a business man, then to a politician. Describe in detail how each of these factors contributed to his discovering that his true calling was politics: 1) his upbringing, 2) his marriage, 3) his work ethics, 4) his environment, 5) the national economy, 6) the politics of his home state, 7) the lessons learned in the military and in the retail business.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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