The paperback edition of "When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys" comes out on Oct. 27 and it's time to reprise some of its best reviews, including this one from THE BUFFALO NEWS.
By Edward Cuddihy, News book reviewer
Thomas Maier tapped into the mother lode when he chose to wrap Winston Churchill and Joseph P. Kennedy, along with their families and extended circle of famous friends, into the same volume.
Between those two giants – one, a national leader and world inspiration, the other, a perfidious self-made multimillionaire and father of a president – they met just about every important person in Europe and America during the cataclysmic years before, during and just after World War II.
And the twisted and convulsive lives of their numerous progeny, most of them strong-willed and fiercely independent, make the fictitious escapades of Downton Abbey look like Disney World.
Author Maier, an investigative reporter for Newsday on Long Island and a successful biographer of characters like Masters and Johnson, Dr. Benjamin Spock and Sam Newhouse, has done a masterful job in this latest work, a decade-long effort, and his second book to deal with the Kennedys.... Maier’s book is a near-perfect mix of politics, business, world chaos and bedroom gossip, and even the gossip is documented with the thoroughness of a master investigator. Needless to say, there is ample gossip spread over two generations to make all 650 pages of text sizzle.
At some points, one thinks: This might not be the best history but it is a terrific read. And at other points, one can only marvel at the degree of historic detail. It reads like a novel, but no publisher would accept such outrageous coincidences in fiction.