Download When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys Audiobook

When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys Audiobook, by Thomas Maier Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Thomas Maier Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2014 ISBN: 9781483031217
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $29.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $14.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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 States

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 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.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Laden with significant new research, the book offers up many intriguing tangential revelations about virtually everybody…Ultimately, however, he succeeds at what matters most: bringing to life Kennedy and Churchill’s fatal differences and fascinating similarities.”

    USA Today

  • “Weaving the life stories of nearly thirty Churchills and Kennedys into a seamless narrative, Maier smartly anchors his reportage on the clans’ larger-than-life cornerstones: Winston Churchill and Joseph Kennedy. The sheer accumulation of colorful anecdotes in When Lions Roar

    Washington Post

  • “A thoroughly told and fascinatingly detailed account of the Churchill and Kennedy families that brims with revelation and showcases the dynamic relationship between these roaring dynasties.”

    Irish America magazine

  • “Torches pass from fathers to sons—and sometimes get dropped—in this sprawling saga of two political dynasties…Gossipy, entertaining…full of wartime adventure, romance, and innumerable adulteries. Maier’s vivid profiles of these charismatic figures make for a nuanced study.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A sprawling yet intimate panorama.”


  • “Fascinating…Its wealth of details, smoothly told, will hold the reader’s attention from beginning to end. An excellent work for all history collections, especially those devoted to twentieth-century political history.”

    Library Journal

  • “Journalist Maier pieces together a multigenerational saga of two renowned families…Perhaps most pleasing is Maier’s skill at locating information about less famous individuals who played key roles in the ways the two families connected and disconnected…His research carries the book along as interesting anecdotes continue to emerge.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Malcolm Hillgartner [gives] each major player his own voice. In the case of the easily recognizable—Winston Churchill, FDR, JFK, and RFK—he provides rough but serviceable imitations that enliven the reading and aid listener comprehension. He lends excitement to the material without overdoing it and…his persistent energy helps keep the listener focused, and his strong voice and serious manner make the book’s main material—gossip—seem more substantial. Overall, Hillgartner’s narration renders this work more enjoyable than it might otherwise be.”


  • “Thomas Maier has achieved the remarkable feat of offering rich new insight into the lives, achievements, and failures of two famous families, the Churchills and the Kennedys. If you think you know everything there is to know about the Churchills and Kennedys, you’re wrong. Maier examines his subjects as no biographer has before. It is a monumental accomplishment.”

    Terry Golway, author of The Irish in America

  • “A highly enjoyable and expertly told account of two of the most important political families of the twentieth century.”

    Richard Toye, author of Churchill’s Empire

Listener Reviews

Be the first to write a review about this audiobook!
Write a Review

About the Author

Thomas Maier’s biographies have garnered critical praise and have been listed among the Entertainment Weekly’s Top 10 Must-Reads; the O, The Oprah Magazine Top 10 Books; the New York Times Notable Books of the Year; and Boston Globe’s Top 10 Books of the Year; and have been a pick of the Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club. Meier earned a master’s degree in 1982 from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has been a writer for Newsday and the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2002, he won the investigative prize from the International Consortium of Investigative Reporting, now called the Daniel Pearl Award, for a series about exploitation of immigrant workers. His other investigative series have won the national Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award, the national Worth Bingham Award, National Headliners Award, New York Deadline Club, Society of Silurians, and many others.

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an accomplished actor, writer, and musician. Named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2013 and the recipient of several Earphones Awards, he has narrated over 175 audiobooks.