Roosevelt and Hopkins, an Intimate History

By Robert E. Sherwood | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVIII
The Political Sector

When Hopkins returned to Washington from Casablanca he found a formidable pile of clippings of newspaper attacks upon him and his wife. Added to the fantastic story of the Beaverbrook emeralds was a great deal of sensational material about the dinner for the Hopkinses given at the Hotel Carlton, on December 16, by Bernard M. Baruch. According to the various reports, there were from sixty to eighty guests present and Baruch paid anywhere from $10 to $40 per person. (I was one of the guests and can say that it was a large party but I haven't the faintest idea what it cost.) Whatever the statistics, there was plenty of reason to regret the whole episode. The American magazine had just published an article by Hopkins with the title, You and your Family will be Mobilized, in which he wrote of the extreme toughness of the war, and the need for ever greater sacrifices on the part of the people. He said:

Rationing and priorities far more widespread than at present will determine the kinds of food . . . we shall have and will affect every detail of our daily lives. Under total war our overall standard of living will be as low as it was at the bottom of the depression in 1932. . . . No family should object to meat rationing when they realise the beef and bacon they don't get is being served to their sons and brothers in the Army.

The newspapers had fun aplenty quoting those words together with the Carlton menu which ran from caviar and ṗ + ̑ té de foie gras through beef alamode, corned beef in jelly and Virginia ham, to three kinds of ice cream, plus vintage champagne (imported). Naturally enough, the term "Lucullan orgy" managed to creep into many of these accounts. Baruch gave this dinner as his wedding present to Hopkins and his bride. It was a generous, friendly gesture, made with no thought of possible political

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