Thomas Maier “When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys” Book Signing

Acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier will be visiting for a discussion on his newest book, When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys at the Harvard Book Store.


11/06/14 07:00 PM
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave.,
Cambridge, MA 02138

About the Author

Thomas Maier is an author, journalist, and television producer. His book Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love is the basis for the award-winning drama Masters of Sex which premiered on Showtime in 2013. Most recently, he is the author of When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys, the first comprehensive history of the two dynastic families, published by Crown. His other books include The Kennedys: America’s Emerald Kings, a multi-generational history of the Kennedy family and the impact of their Irish-Catholic background on their lives, and Dr. Spock: An American Life, named a “Notable Book of the Year” in 1998 by The New York Times and the subject of a BBC and A&E Biography documentary.

His 1994 book, Newhouse: All the Glitter, Power and Glory of America’s Richest Media Empire and the Secretive Man Behind It, won the Frank Luther Mott Award by the National Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication as Best Media Book of the Year. Maier joined Newsday in 1984, after working at Chicago Sun-Times. He’s won several top honors, including the national Society of Professional Journalists’ top reporting prize twice, the National Headliner Award, the Worth Bingham Prize, and New York Deadline Club. In 2002, he won the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ top prize for a series about immigrant workplace deaths. At the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he won the John M. Patterson Prize for television documentary making and later received the John McCloy Journalism Fellowship to Europe. He also has a B.A. in political science from Fordham University in the Bronx. He lives on Long Island, New York.


About the Book

When 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 soon-to-be American ambassador to Great Britain and 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.

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, and between Great Britain and the United States, highlighting all of its emotional complexity and historic significance.

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