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. In later years, how does Harry describe his childhood?

2. On what charge was Tom Pendergast arrested, convicted and jailed?

3. What is cost-plus construction?

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

5. What was the attitude of the townspeople of Independence towards people of color?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What experience does Truman bring to this Senate investigation? Outline specifically which jobs he held in the past that would contribute to his ability to lead this important committee.

3. Why was it so important for MacArthur and Truman to be in agreement on the military policy towards Korea and China?

4. Roosevelt was unable to move without assistance, but Truman is a fast walker and a man who moves quickly and with determination. The Secret Service had to completely change their tactics to protect the President. How did this affect their procedures and organization? Do you think President Truman, based upon what you have read about him so far, was easy to work with regarding his movements around Washington DC?

5. When Truman is on a state trip to Mexico, he visits the grave of the child heroes. Why did this act mean so much to the Mexican people?

6. 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.

7. 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?

8. Although Harry did not partake in sports or outdoor activities as other boys, no one ever called him a "sissy." Why do you think that was?

9. In the issue of a President serving more than two terms, what is your opinion regarding 1) in agreement with the limit or 2) in opposition of the limit. Give at least three points for your argument.

10. 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?

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

Harry Truman wanted to wait to marry until he had income and a future, and Bess waited patiently for years. Why do you think these young people did not just get married and live with family until they could move out on their own?

Essay Topic 3

The title of Chapter 17 is Final Days. How did Truman view his term as President, and what accomplishments do you think he was most proud of?

(see the answer keys)

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