Cover image for When lions roar the Churchills and the Kennedys
When lions roar the Churchills and the Kennedys
Maier, Thomas, 1956-
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Publication Information:
[Ashland, OR] : Blackstone Audio, [2014]
Physical Description:
17 audio discs (22 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
These two powerful families shared an ever-widening circle of friends, lovers, and political associates, soon shattered by World War II, spying, sexual infidelity, and the tragic deaths of Kathleen and Joe Kennedy Jr. By the '60s and JFK's presidency they had overcome their bitter differences. With deeply human portraits of these flawed but larger-than-life figures, it explores the relationship between the families and countries, highlighting the emotional complexity and historic significance.
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Title from container.

Compact discs.

Duration: 22:00:00.
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Audiobook on CD


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DA566.9.C5 M235 2014C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
DA566.9.C5 M235 2014C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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The first comprehensive history of the deeply entwined personal and public lives of the Churchills and the Kennedys and what their special relationship meant for Great Britain and the United StatesWhen Lions Roar begins in the mid-1930s at Chartwell, Winston Churchill's country estate, with new revelations surrounding a secret business deal orchestrated by Joseph P. Kennedy, the father of future American president John F. Kennedy. From London to America, these two powerful families shared an ever-widening circle of friends, lovers, and political associates--soon shattered by World War II, spying, sexual infidelity, and the tragic deaths of JFK's sister Kathleen and his older brother Joe Jr. By the 1960s and JFK's presidency, the Churchills and the Kennedys had overcome their bitter differences and helped to define the greatness in each other.Acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier tells this dynastic saga through fathers and their sons--and the remarkable women in their lives--providing keen insight into the Churchill and Kennedy families and the profound forces of duty, loyalty, courage, and ambition that shaped them. He explores the seismic impact of Winston Churchill on JFK and American policy, wrestling anew with the legacy of two titans of the twentieth century. Maier also delves deeply into the conflicted bond between Winston and his son Randolph and the contrasting example of patriarch Joe Kennedy, a failed politician who successfully channeled his personal ambitions to his children. By approaching these iconic figures from a new perspective, Maier not only illuminates the intricacies of this all-important cross-Atlantic allegiance but also enriches our understanding of the tumultuous time in which they lived and the world events they so greatly influenced.With deeply human portraits of these flawed but larger-than-life figures, When Lions Roar explores the special relationship between the Churchills and Kennedys, between Great Britain and the United States, highlighting all of its emotional complexity and historic significance.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

In the exhaustively chronicled Kennedy saga, Maier found a scantly explored angle in the political dynasty's Irish ancestry (The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings, 2003), and he repeats that feat here with the story of the family's connections to Winston Churchill and his clan. These relationships began in the early 1930s, blossomed during Joseph Kennedy's controversial 1938-40 ambassadorship to Britain, and coursed along until the late 1960s. Emphasizing private affairs of numerous relatives and friends of patresfamilias Joseph and Winston, Maier taps personal papers to create narratives of happenings travels, parties, friendships formed and strained, marriages forged and sundered, political ambitions achieved or thwarted, all against the defining event of the Kennedy-Churchill nexus, WWII. Joseph Kennedy's conduct as the American envoy reverberates through Maier's anecdotes; his predictions of British defeat were detested by the Churchills. There's more popular readability, however, in Maier's focus on romances that sparked during the war. He has the juice about Randolph Churchill and Pamela Digby, Kathleen Kennedy's marriage into British aristocracy, and the dalliances of peripheral figures like socialite Kay Halle. A sprawling yet intimate panorama of two famous political dynasties.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Torches pass from fathers to sons-and sometimes get dropped-in this sprawling saga of two political dynasties. Journalist Maier (Masters of Sex) surveys the tangled relationships between Winston Churchill, Joseph P. Kennedy, and their respective children. During the 1930s and the WWII era, Churchill, a combative foe of Hitler, and Kennedy, the isolationist and mildly pro-German (and anti-Semitic) American ambassador to Britain, clashed over policy towards the Nazis and the looming war. By the 1960s, however, Kennedy's son John F. Kennedy revived Churchillian themes in his Cold War policies and rhetoric towards the Soviets. The wrangle between the shady, Machiavellian Kennedy père and the bluff, stentorian Churchill (with a manipulative Franklin Roosevelt stirring the pot) extends to their parental styles; Maier juxtaposes Kennedy's stern molding of his sons into effective political operators with Churchill's muddled relationship with his son Randolph, a promising youth who became a wastrel. Much of the book is a gossipy, entertaining, but unfocused panorama of the glittering social world of wealthy, powerful, aristocrats-it is full of wartime adventure, romance, and innumerable adulteries. Maier vivid profiles of these charismatic figures makes for a nuanced study. 16-page b&w photo insert. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Two of the most notable names in 20th-century history are Churchill and Kennedy. In this fascinating dual biography of Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and Joseph Kennedy (1888-1969), Maier (The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings) describes not only both men's impact on politics but also the intertwined lives of their families over the course of four decades. Kennedy managed to obtain an appointment as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain in the early 1930s, where he struck up an acquaintance with Churchill, recently excluded from office because of his opposition to India's independence. In subsequent years, the relationship between the two men waxed and waned and eventually broadened to include Churchill's son, Randolph, as well as Kennedy's son Jack. Maier delves into archives on both sides of the Atlantic to bring to his narrative an impressive grasp of the two clans and the rich array of personalities that interacted with them over the decades. This is a book that cannot be put down, and its wealth of details, smoothly told, will hold the reader's attention from beginning to end. VERDICT An excellent work for all history collections, especially those devoted to 20th-century political history. [See Prepub Alert, 5/4/14.]-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The dynastic impulse that leads great men to seek to transfer power to their descendants is a powerful one. Journalist Maier follows this impulse in the contemporary dynasts Winston Churchill and Joseph P. Kennedy from the 1930s to the 1960s. The aristocratic Churchill had a head start. His son, Randolph, was an accomplished public speaker and a dashing commando in WW II. But, as Maier describes at length, Randolph's career was stunted by his drinking and marital problems. The dynasty of the self-made millionaire businessman fared better; John F. Kennedy won the US presidency in 1960. Although Winston Churchill and Joseph Kennedy cordially hated one another, their children were members of the same transatlantic upper crust. Maier describes many contacts among them--social, sexual, and intergenerational. Randolph Churchill (born 1911) shared an American mistress with the elder Kennedy (born 1888). Nearly everyone, it seems, was seduced into (or during) a cruise aboard the sumptuous yacht of Aristotle Onassis. There are 79 pages of endnotes, mostly to published sources. Summing Up: Recommended. General collections, public libraries. --John R. Breihan, Loyola University Maryland