Reading Comprehension Quiz

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for May 1.

On Sept. 25, 1962, Andrei Sakharov phoned Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev. "The atomic test is pointless," he said. "It will kill people for no reason." Khrushchev assured Sakharov he would inquire about postponing the test. The next day the detonation went off as planned.

Sakharov wept. "After that," he said, "I felt myself another man. I broke with my surroundings. I understood there was no point arguing." Sakharov would no longer be an academician concerned mainly with the theory of thermonuclear reactions. Instead, he began a journey that would make him the world's most famous political dissident and ultimately the inspiration for the democratic movement that doomed the Soviet empire. He realized that the ideals he had pursued as a scientist compassion, freedom, truth could not coexist with the arms race or thrive under the grip of communism. "That was probably the most terrible lesson of my life," he wrote. "You can't sit on two chairs at once."

1. The two chairs that Sakharov referred to were
A. science and empire.
B. democracy and empire.
C. the arms race and communism.
D. communism and science.
2. Sakharov became an inspiration for
A. democracy.
B. thermonuclear reactions.
C. communism.
D. the arms race.
3. The Latin origin of inspiration means
A. blow or breathe into.
B. spiritual experience.
C. helpful influence.
D. force.
4. Sakharov's most terrible lesson was realizing that
A. an idealistic scientist could not thrive under communism or the arms race.
B. a scientist must be idealistic.
C. he had to break with communism.
D. he was doomed to being uncomfortable.

The information comes from an article by Fang Lizhi at Time Magazine Most Important People of the Century.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-D..........2-A..........3-A..........4-A
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at