Hot Dogs and Cocktails: When FDR Met King George VI at Hyde Park on Hudson By Peter Conradi

I really enjoyed this. I felt it was a thoroughly comprehensive work about a well-documented incident. It gave all the appropriate background history without going into too much detail, and really delved into the relationship just before the Second World War between Britain and the US. Yes, it was easy reading, but that can be extraordinarily relieving in a nonfiction book where it is so easy to get bogged down by names and extraneous details and not be able to grasp the whole picture. I only wish there had been a little more of the dialogue that occurred between FDR & Eleanor Roosevelt and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth, but there may not be any more to know about. Overall: bravo, Peter Conradi. 9/10 stars. 282 As delicious as the best picnic

What a joy, to hone in on this exciting and healing meeting of great women and their difficult but powerful husbands at a carefully orchestrated nexus -the benefits of which last to this day. Briskly told, with pointed connections, and exploring juicy tidbits I had never read before. 282 A light, breezy book about the 1939 Royal Tour of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth [later H.M. The Queen Mother] to Canada and the U.S. The American portion, when Their Majesties were served hot dogs [among other American dishes] was more detailed. Daylight upon magic : the royal tour of Canada, 1939 by Tom MacDonnell (1989) and Royal Spring : the royal tour of 1939 and the Queen Mother in Canada by Arthur Bousfield (1989) are much better if you want to know about the Canadian portion. Mr. Conradi skimmed over our portion. [Sigh] The English love affair with the U.S. at our expense never abates. [SIGH!] Still, this book did mention that Prime Minister Mackenzie King practically lobbied everyone he could think of to stay on the train when it crossed the border. [Cheers! Good for him that he - and we - were not left out of some of the discussion.]
Several errors about the Canadian portion. Montreal is not the capital of Quebec. It was the largest city in Canada in 1939. Their Majesties drove along the Queen Elizabeth Way from Hamilton to St. Catharines [not St. Catherine's] and opened the highway there. The portion from Toronto to Hamilton and from St. Catharnes to Niagara Falls (not Buffalo) was still under construction.
I read in Daylight Upon Magic that the King's delicate stomach did not agree with the hot dog; but that was not mentioned here. He and the Queen did eat them all up in the approved manner.
I enjoyed the book because the other two books did not go extensively into the American portion of the tour outside of Washington D.C. It's not a political book. Hardly anything about what the King and FDR discussed (with Mackenzie King and without Mackenzie King)

282 A pleasant account of the Royal trip to the USA and Canada in the early 1900's. If you are looking for a historical book which balances the dry facts of history with stories of humour and family drama; this is it. A cruisey read. 282 In the summer of 1939, just before the pesky Germans really made life complicated, the King and Queen of England took a little jaunt across the pond to visit Canada. President Roosevelt, having caught wind of their plans, made sure that they swung by America for a few days. They did, and managed to charm a great many of the American people (unless they lived in the Midwest) and even ate a couple of hotdogs.

This is the rather superficial and not-very-riveting treatment of that visit.

And that's my review. 282


It was easy to read and I do recommend it. Considering the great receptions of the royals in the last twenty years it is hard to imagine that the King and Queen were not sure of how they would be received in the states. Before crossing the border they had an exhausting trip from east to west and back in Canada. Then on to the US they were overwhelmed by their fantastic reception . My family is from Poughkeepsie - loved all the details about their stay at Springwood and the picnic and swimming at Top Cottage. All and all the book gives us insight to the 1930's, an important time in history. 282 Considering George VI is my favorite monarch, when I discovered this book I had to read it. This specific visit to America is mentioned in almost every book about George VI so it was enjoyable to read the whole story. I find this authors style of writing very easy to read and so I don’t plod through it the way I do some non-fiction books. While this is no way an in-depth look at the visit, I feel like I left the book knowing more about Roosevelt, the trip itself, and how the trip affected both our countries and the leaders involved. 282 My only note on this book, is that while I enjoyed it, I felt as though the author had difficulty staying on topic and in the timeline. He was talking about one event, and then suddenly, three days before that.... 12 years later... a month before.. I was confused much of the time just trying to keep everyone straight. The reason it took me close to two months to read it. I usually breeze through a book, three weeks is a long time for me if I'm absorbed. This one did not completely hold my attention and was a bit of a chore to get through. Topic and information was great don't get wrong, but it had its challenges to follow. I was also a bit perturbed to discover that there was just one chapter, and probably two short paragraphs regarding the actual historical picnic. Though it was referenced several times in the remaining chapters in the Kings and FDRs correspondence in the years after 282 This is a charming little book focusing on one event, the meeting between FDR and the King of England before WWII, putting it in the context of its time and providing details about the protocol, the accommodations, the food, the travel before and after, and its impact. I think that whether you are a history buff or not, you will find it delightful.

As a side note, based on this, the film Hyde Park on the Hudson is pretty accurate, except that FDR and Eleanor and the King and Queen had met in Washington, DC, before the trip to Hyde Park, and the scene with Margaret Suckley jerking off FDR was an insult to both of their memories since no one can possibly know if anything like that ever happened. The author of this book is kind enough not to provide any sordid assumptions like that. 282 An engaging book about the meeting between King George VI and Franklin Roosevelt at Hyde Park on Hudson in 1939. Conradi analyzes the press coverage of the 1939 royal tour of Canada and the United States and examines American attitudes towards the United Kingdom and the monarchy on the eve of the Second World War. The famous picnic where the royal couple were served hot dogs, however, does not appear until the closing chapters of the book. The early chapters consist of a lot of well known biographical details about the Windsors and the Roosevelts, which could have been condensed to allow for more space to be devoted to the picnic at Hyde Park on Hudson. 282

From the coauthor of The King's Speech, the story behind the historic meeting between FDR and King George VI on the eve of World War II, a meeting that is now the subject of a major Hollywood movie, Hyde Park on Hudson

Between June 9th and 12th 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were the guests of Franklin Delano Roosevelt at his country estate in Hyde Park, New York, during what was the first ever visit by a reigning British monarch to the United States. Coming at a time when Britain desperately needed U.S. help in the conflict that now seemed inevitable, the meeting was front page news on both sides of the Atlantic and imbued with huge political significance. This fascinating book recreates the backdrop to the royal visit, analyzing the political background and the media's reaction, and tells the back stories both of the King and of Roosevelt, whose colorful personal life became entwined with the visit. Hot Dogs and Cocktails: When FDR Met King George VI at Hyde Park on Hudson

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