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. How did Bess Wallace's father die?

2. In the extended family of the Truman household, who disciplined Margaret?

3. What major personal events occur for Harry Truman in Chapter 5?

4. What did Harry's mother say to him each time he left the house?

5. What political party did Harry, his father, and most of the adults in Independence belong to?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. The Mormons were not welcome in Missouri, although immigrants from all other states were allowed to settle. What were the fundamental differences in the approach the Mormons took to settle, and why was this so difficult for Missouri people?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. How did the atmosphere of defense contractor spending contribute to the Canol Project?

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

9. 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.

10. 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.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe in detail the significant events in Truman's first term as Senator from Missouri, and cover the following points, using the facts, and then your opinion as to how this event affected Truman's policy, reputation and personal feelings.

1. Treatment of him by fellow Senators, especially the one from his own state

2. Bess choosing to stay away from Washington most of the time

3. Truman's loyalty to Roosevelt

4. Truman's loyalty to Pendergast

5. The official investigation of Pendergast

6. The difficulty of getting re-elected without his traditional means of support

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

Truman and Roosevelt were men from completely different backgrounds and political experience. What specific obstacles did Truman have to overcome when assuming President Roosevelt's job that were caused by Roosevelt's attitude towards 1) world affairs, 2) the power of the presidency, and 3) sharing secrets with others outside his private circle.

(see the answer keys)

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