A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir

A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir

by Bill O'Reilly

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One day in 1957, in the third-grade classroom of St. Brigid’s parochial school, an exasperated Sister Mary Lurana bent over a restless young William O’Reilly and said, “William, you are a bold, fresh piece of humanity.” Little did she know that she was, early in his career as a troublemaker, defining the essence of Bill O’Reilly and providing him with the title of his brash and entertaining issues-based memoir.

In his most intimate book yet, O’Reilly goes back in time to examine the people, places, and experiences that launched him on his journey from working-class kid to immensely influential television personality and bestselling author. Readers will learn how his traditional outlook was formed in the crucible of his family, his neighborhood, his church, and his schools, and how his views on America’s proper role in the world emerged from covering four wars on five continents over three-plus decades as a news correspondent. What will delight his numerous fans and surprise many others is the humor and self-deprecation with which he handles one of his core subjects: himself, and just how O’Reilly became O’Reilly.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780767930963
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 09/23/2008
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 26 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

BILL O’REILLY, a three-time Emmy Award winner for excellence in reporting, served as national correspondent for ABC News and as anchor of the nationally syndicated news magazine program Inside Edition before becoming executive producer and anchor of Fox News’s breakout hit The O’Reilly Factor. He is the recipient of a Governor's Award from the Boston/New England chapter of the prestigious National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the author of the mega-bestsellers The O’Reilly Factor, The No Spin Zone, Who’s Looking Out for You?, and Culture Warrior, as well as Kids Are Americans Too, The O’Reilly Factor for Kids, and the novel Those Who Trespass. He holds master’s degrees from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Boston University.

Read an Excerpt



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer "present" or "not guilty."


If you watch the bold, fresh guy on television or listen to me on the radio, you know I'm not a rabidly partisan political guy. I don't endorse candidates for office or shill for them in any way. Party affiliation does not matter to me. Over the years, my philosophy has evolved into this: I vote for the person who I believe will do the least amount of damage to the country. It is rare that a true problem solver is nominated for office, so usually it's who will do the least amount of harm to the folks.

I know that sounds cynical, but let's be honest: politics in America is a money play full of charlatans and crazed ideologues. Once in a while a person of true principle emerges, but the media usually quickly destroys that candidate because honesty always, and I mean always, collides with ideology. Only independent thinkers can deliver unbiased appraisals of complicated problems, and independent thinkers have little chance to succeed in our -two--party system, which demands rigid adherence to left or right doctrine.

My philosophy about what's best for America is spelled out in vivid detail in my last book, Culture Warrior, so there's no need to state it again. However, no matter what I say or write, fanatics will attack it because -Kool--Aid--drinking ideologues on both sides resent my national platform and nonaligned analysis. I'm amused that the -far left attempts to demonize me as a rigid conservative, while at the same time the far right despises me because I'm not reactionary enough. As I always say, as long as the extremists hate me, I know I'm doing my job. So bring it on, Sean Penn and Michael Savage. You guys are totally nuts; it's a compliment that both of you attack me.

The political angst that I now proudly cause began rather early in my life. Thinking back, I realize my first brush with politics happened in 1956, when I heard my mother sing:

I like Ike.

I'll say it again and again.

I like Ike.

Let him finish the job he began.

Since I was just six years old, I -didn't "like Ike" because I -didn't know who the heck he was. I did know Buffalo Bob and Mighty Mouse, Davy Crockett and Elvis, but not this guy Ike. Both of my parents were traditional people in most ways but were also politically independent. Because the O'Reilly clan comprised mainly civil servants working in New York City, they were loyal Democrats. On my mother's side, the Kennedys and Drakes usually voted Democratic as well.

But the Democrat running against President Eisenhower, Adlai Stevenson, was an avowed social liberal and held zero appeal for my parents, who believed strongly in -self--reliance and -Judeo--Christian values. Stevenson would say that year, "Trust the people. Trust their good sense." Well, old Adlai -shouldn't have been shocked that my folks and most others living in Levittown -didn't trust him. Overwhelmingly, they voted for Ike.

One of the reasons was his service. My father was a naval officer during World War II and respected Dwight Eisenhower's performance in the European theater. Back then and still today, traditional people supported the military. Ike won a second term in a landslide.

To me, a fresh but also shallow little kid, politics was really boring. Outside of the St. Brigid's classroom, my childhood was largely one big game. I played four sports: football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey. When games weren't scheduled, we played stickball in the street: cheap game, all you needed was a rubber ball and a broomstick. We also played -keep--away and ringolevio (don't ask). We were sweating all the time and had zero interest in public policy. For us, the Cold War took place on a hockey pond in -mid--January.

Forced into the Arena

Then in 1960 John F. Kennedy ran for president against Vice President Richard Nixon. Suddenly, there was a split in my house. My mother, a Kennedy on her mom's side, was a JFK supporter. My father went with Nixon, even though he -didn't like the man all that much. I don't remember exactly why my parents supported their respective candidates, but I do recall sitting at the supper table (we never called it dinner) and hearing them tease each other. My mother said they were going to "cancel each other out." I -didn't know what that meant and -didn't really care. My mom's cooking was so awful I just wanted to get away from the table as fast as possible.

As the election approached, my -sixth--grade teacher, a kindly old woman named Mrs. Boyle, came up with an idea. The class should have a debate. And since I never shut up, I was chosen to be one of the debaters. This was not good. I had no idea what a debate was, much less whom I should support. Giants versus Yankees, I knew. Kennedy against Nixon? Total blank.

"So, William," Mrs. Boyle said, "which candidate will you support?"

"Is Davy Crockett running?"

Yes, I actually said that stupid thing. But Mrs. Boyle was used to my nonsense, and so was the class, which considered me a hopeless buffoon. Since I had only two choices, I took Nixon, because my father was louder than my mother. It's true that was my sole rationale; Republicans and Democrats -didn't even enter into my thinking. Because my dad bloviated more about stuff than my mom, I figured he'd be happy to give me some debating tips.

Forget it.

My father, all six feet four inches, two hundred and ten pounds of him, lumbered home from work every day around six thirty p.m., exactly twelve hours from the time he left for the office in the morning. His job as a money changer for an oil company was boring, and, as stated, my mother's culinary skills were, well, incredibly bad. So, in addition to being exhausted by dull and tedious work, my father was usually hungry. This is not a good combination for a big Irish guy with a temper.

Typically, my sister and I usually avoided Dad until about noon on Saturday. He cooked breakfast on the weekends, which put him in a better frame of mind. My father's cooking was far superior to my mom's and she knew it. But she -didn't actually care.

I'm telling you all this because my plan was to have my father write down what I should say about Richard Nixon, to tell me why the guy was the greatest. In that way, I could memorize my father's point of view and dazzle Mrs. Boyle and the class with the wisdom of my dad, which, of course, I would claim as my own. I mean, how great was this strategy?

So, on the eve of the big debate, with pen and paper in hand, I asked my father why he was voting for Nixon. Sitting on the floor, I was poised to write down every single word.

"Because Kennedy's father is a crook," my dad said.

"Really, a crook?" I asked.


"In what way?"

"Sold booze during Prohibition."

Oh. I -didn't know what Prohibition actually was, but it sounded good, so I wrote it down, badly misspelling the -P--word.

Still, I needed more or it would be a short debate, so I pressed on.

"What about Nixon; why do you like him?"

"Don't like him," my father answered.

"YOU DON'T LIKE HIM?" Almost immediately, I was panicking.

"They're all phonies," my father answered, and went back to watching The Ed Sullivan Show.

I remember scribbling in my notebook: Kennedy's dad is a crook. . . sold booze. . . pro something. . . my dad hates Nixon. They're all phonies. A vague sense of doom gripped me, but what could I do? My father had spoken and was not a man you badgered for anything.

The next day, Monday, Mrs. Boyle announced that the debate would be held after the lunch recess. On my side were two other young Republicans; on the other side were three Democrats. All I remember about the ensuing fiasco is that I said something about Nixon being tough on the Russians and Kennedy's father being a crook. The other side totally ignored me and hammered home just one emphatic point: JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY WAS CATHOLIC!

They won the debate by a landslide.

Fine with me. That debating business was far too much work. Back then, if anyone had ever suggested that I would eventually become famous for debating on television, Mrs. Boyle would have called the mental health authorities to take a close look at the child who had suggested it.

After the election, the new Kennedy administration impacted me only because of the fallout-shelter drills at school. Once in a while a bell rang and all the St. Brigid's kids had to file out to the school parking lot, where, we were told, if a random atom bomb happened to fall nearby, buses would whisk us away to some underground bunker. Nobody seemed very concerned about it, but a few years later, the Cuban missile crisis did get the attention of the smarter kids.

But, obviously, I was not one of the smarter kids. American Bandstand had more influence on me than President Kennedy or any other politician. In fact, about the only time I locked in on Kennedy was when comedian Vaughn Meader did a -dead--on impression of him on TV. There was also a song called "My Daddy Is President" by a kid trying to imitate Caroline Kennedy, the President's young daughter. I remember thinking the song was stupid, which is somewhat incomprehensible, since I liked a Christmas song recorded by singers imitating chipmunks. It was that kind of taste and logic that defined me as a child.

The End of Innocence

The political thing became more focused for me on November 22, 1963, when the loudspeaker in Brother Carmine Diodati's religion class crackled and on came a radio report of President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. By then, I was a freshman at Chaminade High School and this was big Kennedy territory. The following days featured a number of sorrowful Masses and lectures about the slain President and the tragedy that had befallen America.

At home, my parents never said much about the murder itself but were glued to Walter Cronkite for information. I remember that my father -didn't much care for Lyndon Johnson, who was distant to him in many ways. My mother was mostly worried about Jackie Kennedy and her two young children.

But, all in all, politics and the issues of the day did not intrude very much on the O'Reilly family situation. We soldiered on, so to speak, without much partisan activity. It was the same thing on the street; I can never remember my friends discussing politics at all. Why would you? We had the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, and Knicks. It was exhausting.

Then came the summer of 1967, the Summer of Love in San Francisco. For us teenagers in my Levittown neighborhood, love was often demonstrated in cars on dark lanes. But as Bob Dylan sang, the times were -a--changin'. Vietnam began heating up, and a few of the older guys came home injured from Southeast Asia. Some others showed up with completely altered personalities. For the first time in my life, I saw -close up what war could do. Curious, I talked with some of the returning vets, and they all said the same thing: Vietnam was chaos; there was nothing good about it.

That fall, I entered Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, exempt from the draft on a student deferment. Most of the neighborhood guys who did not have that advantage were called up, and many shipped out to Southeast Asia. One neighborhood guy came home from Vietnam and killed himself. Another became a -hard--core drug addict. Like everyone else, I saw the fighting on television and heard the intense debates. So I decided to ask my father about it. He said the war was a disaster, nothing like World War II, when the country was united against enemies that had directly attacked us. He -didn't further explain his opinion, but his blunt words overrode everything else on the subject, as far as I was concerned. My father was a tough guy, sometimes irrational in his anger over petty stuff. But he never lied to me and he was not uninformed. If he thought the Vietnam situation was screwed up, it was screwed up.

As opposition to the war mounted throughout the country, I paid more attention, but typically, I was essentially detached from most of it. Playing football for Marist College, socializing, and occasionally studying occupied most of my time. Even though not -pro--war, my father and many other Levittowners were rapidly becoming

appalled by the often outlandish behavior displayed by -hard--core antiwar activists. Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and the rest of the militant protesters brought a few choice words from LTJG William O'Reilly Sr. As a former naval officer, he -didn't like drugs, he -didn't like sloppy appearances, and he -didn't like the pounding music from Iron Butterfly. He -wasn't overly angry with the yippies and hippies; he was more confused by them. What had happened to America?

I rarely discussed the state of the country with my father during my summers at home, because we were both working long hours. He was still a -low--level bean counter, and I made money as a swimming instructor for the Town of Babylon on Long Island. One night, however, I did play him a cut from the new Doors album. I can't remember why I did such an inexplicable thing, but I do clearly recall his terse response: "Stick with Elvis."


At the same time, my father recoiled from the "America right or wrong" crowd. He wanted effective leadership in Washington, not fatuous propaganda. As the war foundered, his opinion of President Johnson and the Democratic establishment cratered, and, without viable

options in the campaign of 1968, my father was forced again to support Richard Nixon for President. As they say in MAD magazine: yeeesh.

Meanwhile, my college career was going the way that most college careers go: I did my work, tried and failed to beguile young ladies, and had a load of mindless fun without getting loaded. Well, I might be a bit unusual in that last category. You'll get a more thorough explanation later.

Also, because I had begun writing for the college newspaper, I started paying closer attention to world events, which were growing more chaotic by the week, both at home and abroad. Still, at Marist College, the antiwar movement was rather placid, because most of the students there were sons and daughters of working people: cops, firemen, salesmen, and the like. Those folks were not real enthusiastic about chanting, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" Trust me, few were burning flags and/or bras in Levittown.

Till It's Over-Over There

In the spring of 1969, a -life--altering thing happened. Some of my college friends were accepted to the Third Year Abroad program and suggested I apply as well. I -didn't jump at the prospect right away. Because I was playing football, writing for the paper, and had figured out how to get relatively good grades for the least amount of work, I was not all that intrigued with the prospect of going to a foreign country, where I might actually have to bust my butt academically and give up football. But, finally, I decided to apply.

I was turned down!

Outrage gripped me. Turned down? Are you kidding me? My grades were better than most of those accepted, and I even spent more than an hour writing the damn Third Year Abroad essay explaining my desire to "accelerate my knowledge." It was complete BS, but so were all the other essays. What the heck was going on?

The answer to that question takes us back to my experience in grammar school: remember when I was labeled a "bold, fresh piece of humanity"? The problem, according to some Marist teachers, was that I was still simply that. In the eyes of my instructors, I had not evolved very much from the little wise guy that Sister Lurana had accurately branded. In short, I was a Philistine who could not be trusted to represent the college in a sophisticated foreign country-or any other destination, for that matter.

Oh, yeah?

Now, I'm the type of guy who does not readily accept the word no. I've succeeded in my career because the more negative things said about me, the harder I work to disprove them. Living well is not the best revenge. Succeeding in your career and humiliating your critics is.

Anyway, I demanded that the professors running the abroad program explain themselves or I would write an article accusing them of -anti--Irish bias. Or -anti--Levittown bias. Or whatever bias I could conjure up. In a tense meeting, I explained to those pinheads that I studied hard, had achieved a high grade point average, had avoided any misdemeanor or felony convictions, and actually attended church most every Sunday.

So what say you, Professors?

They folded. I was accepted into the program. The problem was, I -didn't actually want to go abroad. But I had caused such a ruckus that, in September 1969, I found myself on an ocean liner sailing from New York City to Southampton, England. Accompanying me were hundreds of other students, many of whom were -long--haired, -pot--fueled male maniacs who did far better with the female passengers than I did.

Plus, I got seasick. Not good at all.

When I arrived in London to begin my courses at Queen Mary College, a satellite of the University of London, I immediately ran into a lot of -anti--American feeling. The Vietnam War, of course, was just as unpopular in Great Britain as it was in the USA, but there was also an undercurrent of hostility toward the American system in general. In my student dormitory, Commonwealth Hall, some of the "blokes" actually disliked me solely because of my citizenship!

Certainly we all can understand loathing me because of personality issues, but embracing hate simply because I was born in the USA? Completely unacceptable.

One guy named Derek consistently gave me a hard time about my New Yawk accent. It was clear to him that everything in British culture was far superior to anything America had to offer. I found this kind of amusing, since the -highest--rated TV program in En-gland in 1969 was Top of the Pops, a -rip--off of American Bandstand. And, for much of the year, the -highest--rated song on that program was a ditty by a group called Edison Lighthouse that featured this perceptive chorus:

Love grows where my Rosemary goes,

and nobody knows like me.

As the British are fond of saying: indeed.

Anyway, I annoyed Derek by mocking the Pops, and he continued on about my speech patterns until I let loose with this bit of intellectual wisdom: "Hey, bud, you'd have a German accent if it -wasn't for my father and thousands of other New Yorkers like him. So blank you, fish and chips, and the Beatles. Get me?"

Make friends everywhere; that's always been my motto. Somewhere in Poughkeepsie, the head of the abroad program was weeping.

The -anti--Americanism I witnessed in the dorm, during antiwar demonstrations in Trafalgar Square, in the British classrooms, and on the BBC, did not go down real well with me. I was no fan of the Vietnam War, but even at nineteen years old, I loved my country and understood its essential nobility. America is not a perfect place, but the good heavily outweighs the bad, and those who despise us around the world are misguided and often tee me off. So the origin of my intense feelings for the USA can be charted back to those intense days in London. Throughout my year over there, I gave it to the America haters good, often using a very loud New Yawk accent to do my debating. Blimey.

To this day, I believe much of the -anti--Americanism in Europe is driven by simple jealousy. America is a big, loud dog that generally struts its stuff. Many folks, even in the United States, do not like that kind of presentation. Overseas, some people form shallow, negative judgments about the USA without understanding or even looking at the overall picture. Throughout our history, Americans have freed hundreds of millions of people all over the world, yet a 2007 Pew Research poll, to use one example, found that the majority of British subjects have an unfavorable view of America. Even fueled by Guinness, that's a tough one to swallow.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reading This Book Will Dramatically Improve Your Life! 1

1 Politics 7

2 Self-Reliance 27

3 Fear 45

4 Evil 59

5 Religion 69

6 Saving the World 89

7 Standing Your Ground 105

8 Standing for Something 117

9 Conservatives Versus Liberals 129

10 Heroes and Zeros 143

11 Men of Adventure 155

12 Slugging it Out 175

13 Power 185

14 Mysteries of the Universe 215

15 And Justice for All 229

16 End of Story 241

Postscript 255

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A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 275 reviews.
speed-learn More than 1 year ago
If you watch O'Reilly's show and you have read any of his other books, you probably already know most of what is in this latest book. This was my second O'Reilly book and I found it quite repetitive (I keep getting the books for Christmas). If you don't watch the show, you should give this book a try. O'Reilly's books are quick reads, tend to be entertaining and just might challenge the way you look at life.

Bill O¿Reilly¿s core belief is that ¿life is a constant struggle between good and evil. That each person has free will and must choose a side. Refusing to choose puts one in the evil category by default, because bad things will go unchallenged.¿ O¿Reilly uses the German people during Nazi rule as an example of this last point. O¿Reilly goes on to say ¿the most frustrating part of life: seeing evil individuals continue to harm people with impunity¿ and that he believes that he ¿was put on this earth for a reason and confronting evil is that purpose.¿ When you are dead, ¿your legacy will be defined by two simple questions: How many wrongs did you right, and how many people did you help when they needed it.¿

In this autobiography, O¿Reilly describes the key life experiences which shaped his beliefs with examples intermingled of what he considers evil. Some of the things Bill considers evil include knowingly hurting another person without significant cause, child abuse, selling drugs to children, and deriving pleasure from watching human suffering. Terrorism is also central to Bill¿s concept of evil - terrorist acts, supporting terrorists, and doing business with countries that sponsor terrorism. Bill states that getting people to understand that terrorism is evil is a central struggle of our times.

Other things that bother Bill are people unfairly receiving special privileges, individuals that don¿t take personal responsibility and who instead rely on government safety nets, hiding behind the First Amendment when doing dishonest things, and seeing people treated unfairly.

Bill uses his life experiences to highlight some of his other beliefs which include:
- Individual responsibility is the key to success
- The solution to poverty is education and hard work, not sympathy
- Enough money is spent in the U.S. on education. Teaching is about presentation and personal accountability; money is secondary
- Long-term friendships are declining in the U.S. because people are moving so frequently
- The U.S. did nothing ¿immoral¿ by removing Saddam Hussain, ¿a murderous dictator . . . hell-bent on causing trouble for America.¿
- People in positions of power have a responsibility to make the world a better place
- Life is unfair, but if people strive to be fair then things will balance out.

Bill¿s opines for simpler times when people worked, obeyed the law, cared for their family, looked out for their neighbors and respected their country.

His advice for success in life:
- Design your own life
- Work hard
- Don¿t cloud your thinking by getting high on drugs or alcohol
- Give most people the benefit of the doubt
- Don¿t fear authority
- Have a good time.
SMJudy More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading about Bill's childhood, upbringing, education, and family dynamics. Refreshing to know that, in spite of his enormous success, he continues to value decades-long friendships; put his career on hold to assist his mother when his father was dying; not materialistic about his financial success and believes it's his mission to look out for those who don't have a voice, especially children.
Rubyrasc More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books ive ever read. If you watch the O'Reilly factor or are a fan, you will like how candid and insightful this book is. If you have traditional views (as a lot of Americans do), you will like it. Most of the negative views on here are probably from liberals who dont like Bill and didn't even read the book. This is his best book to date in my opinion. Even if you dont particularly agree with him, it is still interesting to know how a man with humble beginnings got to be so successful.
Rumpelstiltskin More than 1 year ago
I laughed at many places throughout the book. It's a fast read and only took me 2-3 days (that's fast for me). It did feel like my story as well (as he said it would). Is it the greatest book I ever read? No. But, it is one of the best biographies I've ever read. AND he helps me to still believe in the goodness of America.
StPeteBuzz More than 1 year ago
I really did not have a very high expectation for this book. However, I could not believe how well written it was. I think anyone would enjoy reading it and find it stimulating. If you don't like Bill O'Reilly's television show, don't worry this book is not like his show. The book presents things you already know in a very gentle manner. It will take you away from the "political trash 'em" atmosphere that we see in the media today, and take you to a more civil discussion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having grownup on Long Island and in the same time frame as Bill O'Reilly it took me back to a better time when children were able to play undisturbed and parents didn't have to worry about predators everywhere. It was a time of fair play, and a love of freedom and country that has been misplaced in recent times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just read your book and it was wonderful. I don't agree with some of the other comments. If people only had the insight that Bill O'Reily does the world would be a happier place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After watching O'Reilly for years, I loved getting a glimpse of what has made the man. For those who scoff at his "no spin" approach, this book should tell you why he doesn't tolerate spinning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I purchased by Bill O'Reilly and I was not disappointed. I enjoyed every minute of reading, it was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to everyone. Throughout the entire book, you'll find humor, meditative stories, reflections, and bold fresh statements that only Bill can make. If life's thrown you some curves, don't be disheartened, just grab some bold freshness. Keep on keeping on! Thank you Mr. O.
Ginger13 More than 1 year ago
A personal look in the early life of Bill O'Reilly. He goes back and tells about the people and experiences in his life from a working -class boy to the influential television personality and best selling author he is today. He tells of his family, his neighborhood, his church, his schools with truth, wit and humor. I thoroughly enjoyed his book and recommend it to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even more interesting to read that I had imagined. Hits the high points of his life without going into lengthy boring details. He is direct and quite amusing. Justs like having a conversation with him. Recommend this one!
shredderdude More than 1 year ago
A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity, by Bill O'Reilly, is a memoir of when he was growing up, and the path that led him to be one of the most famous political talk show hosts today. Obviously, the main character in this book is the man himself, Bill O'Reilly. In the majority of this book, he is tall, dark haired, and has a fair complexion, but that has changed now since he is older. Other characters in this book include his buddy Clement, or "Clem", who is a stocky young man with black hair and pale white skin, and Sister Lurana, who was tall, pale, and strict. This story takes place all across the East Coast. In the beginning, it takes places in Levittown, Long Island New York, and St. Brigid's School in Westerbury New York. Later on, the book takes you to places such as St. Brigid's Church in Westerbury New York, and Monsignor Edward Pace High School, in Opa-locka Florida. In this book, there are many morals, and life lessons that you can take from it. One of the major ones that really hit me was that everything in life isn't served to you on a silver platter; you have to work hard, and earn it. This story is all about courage, hard work, and overcoming fear. Some other things the book showed me were that if you give one hundred and ten percent, you can accomplish almost anything, and not to be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. The story starts out with Bill's third grade year at St. Brigid's Catholic school. One day, he said some stupid remark, and Sister Lurana said "William, you are one bold fresh piece of humanity." From then on, Bill goes on to tell you about his friends, teachers, and all the shenanigans he and his friends did while at school there. The story progresses into his years in high school, college, and even as a teacher at Pace High School in Florida. Later in the book, he explains his thoughts and feelings on politics, religion, fear, and what he defines as evil. It is a mix between a very enjoyable memoir, and a philosophical masterpiece. This has to be one of my favorite books of all time. It combines humor with a good perspective of life in general. There are lots of things you can learn from this book. I liked that even when there were serious issues he was discussing, he had some story or joke to tell that made it very enjoyable. Despite the outrageous things that he and his friends did when they were kids, it was one hundred percent true, and I believed every bit of it. In the end, he basically sums up the book, and tells you what it was like writing it. I give this book five stars and I think people of all ages should read this book.
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
As a fan of the O'Reilly Factor on Fox, I was interested in knowing the brick-layers that built this structure we call Papa Bear. His most personal book to date, Bill O'Reilly travels back to his past in order to scrutinize the experiences and the characters that made him the man he is today.

There are powerful lessons to be learned in this book. Rather than a simple autobiography, I believe these lessons are the real intent behind Bill's latest effort.

If you are a conservative-leaning reader, this tome will give you a satisfying glimpse of the skeletal bones within not only O'Reilly, but I would dare say most conservatives. And it will solidify your views. If you are a liberal-leaning reader, you are probably not going to read it anyway but you should if only to learn more about the early formation of a traditional outlook. You just might learn something.

I hope you found this review helpful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My guess is the haters here never actually read the book... Bill O is a great author and this book reflects that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a huge Bill O' Fan and have been for a very long time. I think he is a wonderful writer. I like it that he doesn't hold back the punches or caves in to the far 'whatever' ... This book is great a wonderful addition to my home library. I enjoy politics a lot and enjoy all the diverse points of view on both sides (of course this book isn't about that) but some of Mr. O's other books are. As for this book, it is entertaining and well worth the read. A different side of the famous 'no-spin master' to be sure! Buy the book, you'll be glad you did it's an outstanding read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a heartwarming book! An interesting glimpse into the life of an excellent journalist. I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great writing, interesting, and absorbing are words that describe this book. Inspiring to see that the American dream is alive and well. Hard work, commitment, and pride in oneself and one's country is the secret to this author's success. Watch out! He'll make you a believer that your destiny lies within your own reach!!
Mr.Brown More than 1 year ago
A personal book about his life, whos stories not only tell about who he is and how he got there, but the stories help influence his thoughts on life. He has a good attitude towards life and how to live it. He's an advocate for justice and what he has experienced in life, through what he's seen and heard, has greatly affected that. Everyone can learn a lot from this book and what it has to offer. That's why I would recommend it to everyone.
MrMike More than 1 year ago
Another excellent book from Mr. "O." I read it in two days and I seldom finish a book that quickly, even though it is only 256 pages. The author never leaves his opinnions unknown, but laughs at himself as well. This is a very humorous book. Maybe some of the haters out there will finally realize Mr. O'Reilly is not the right-wing nut that some who don't watch his show or read his books would have you believe. This is a good book!
steelerfan7 More than 1 year ago
Bill O'Reilly is a greatly inspirational man. He has a strait view on many things in life, and tries to give a very interesting view on life. The intended audience for this book would have to be from 13-40 years of age. Over all this book was a very enjoyable read. Bill he grew up from a normal every day family to a Fox News anchorman. The way this book got the rating it did was because I compared ot to many other books. Over all this is the best of his books so far. The book tells of him as a little boy being sneaky and liking to have fun to the position in Fox he now has today. The best part of the book was when he met with his old class mates which were very heart warming. The book has a very easy goal, from what I think, to help people know they can do almost anything. This book is his best one yet I can't wait for him to come out with a new one. He has a very great way of getting you into the subject of his books.
KEvansNJ More than 1 year ago
My fiance purchased this book at the airport just before we took off for our Thanksgiving vacation to Cancun. He read it first; I read it after we got back. I'm an O'Reilly fan, but I really didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book (except for the few photos and stories that my fiance shared with me while he was reading).

While I enjoyed all of the content, I felt it a bit bothersome that "the bold fresh guy" recounted the facts of his upbringing and early life in a non-linear fashion. I would have enjoyed his anecdotes much more if I didn't constantly have to keep track of when in his life the story occurred.

Although I am a few years younger than Mr.O, I do share his heritage (Irish) and religion (Roman Catholic). While reading Chapter 5 (Religion), I literally could not breathe because I was laughing so much! I grew up in NJ and did not attend Catholic school, but I've heard enough anecdotes from family and friends to make me feel like I was there. I still attend Mass regularly, so I was very familiar with all religious references. It's very unfortunate that the level of "scholarly discipline" exercised during the days when Mr.O was in school could not have lasted until this day. On the flip side, Catholic school enrollment in my parish has boomed in recent years (and I don't believe it's due to any 'religious renaissance').

Chapter 14 (Mysteries of the Universe) was my next favorite chapter. It made me laugh - alot. A chapter chock full of Mr.O's pet-peeves which range from obscure and silly pop song lyrics to politics to television show finales and his 'dry-as-toast' explanations of what irritates him about the particular subject, entertained me very much because I can relate to this facet of his personality.

Overall, a great read. I'm curious about his other books now, but I have a feeling that this one is one of a kind!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very humorous and thought provoking. I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to know more about why Bill O'reilly is the way he is.
gcruthers More than 1 year ago
Informs readers as to how Bill formed his ideals from childhood through today. Lots of funny and touching stories about school, college, and work that brought back many of my own memories. Dispels notion that he is a right-winger by explaining his independent conservative principles.
Traditionalist More than 1 year ago
Having grown up in a similar fashion as Mr. O'Reilly, I could totally relate. This book sparked so many memories of my childhood and made me remember just how good it was. I laughed with joy reading some of his stories - especially those involving his quick witted replies and stunts to neighbors and the nuns at his Catholic grammar school. Reading this book - one get's a clearer understanding of Bill O'Reilly and the ideals and values that help shape his persona. Values that include friendship, working hard and learning respect for others.
SusHarvey More than 1 year ago
I had no idea Bill O'Reilly was that funny! This book is fantastic. Loved every second of it.