A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir

( 268 )

Overview

The year was 1957, the month September, and I had just turned eight years old. Dwight Eisenhower was President, but in my life it was the diminutive, intense Sister Mary Lurana who ruled, at least in the third-grade class where I was held captive. For reasons you will soon understand, my parents had remanded me to the penal institution of St. Brigid’s School in Westbury, New York, a cruel and unusual punishment if there ever was one.

Already, I had barely survived my first two ...

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A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir

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Overview

The year was 1957, the month September, and I had just turned eight years old. Dwight Eisenhower was President, but in my life it was the diminutive, intense Sister Mary Lurana who ruled, at least in the third-grade class where I was held captive. For reasons you will soon understand, my parents had remanded me to the penal institution of St. Brigid’s School in Westbury, New York, a cruel and unusual punishment if there ever was one.

Already, I had barely survived my first two years at St. Brigid’s because I was, well, a little nitwit. Not satisfied with memorizing the Baltimore Catechism’s fine prose, which featured passages like “God made me to show his goodness and to make me happy with him in heaven,” I was constantly annoying my classmates and, of course, the no-nonsense Sister Lurana. With sixty overactive students in her class, she was understandably short on patience. For survival, she had also become quick on the draw.

Then it happened. One day I blurted out some dumb remark, and Sister Lurana was on me like a panther. Her black habit blocked out all distractions as she leaned down, looked me in the eye, and uttered words I have never forgotten: “William, you are a bold, fresh piece of humanity.”

And she was dead-on.

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.

And this time it’s personal. 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"William, you are a bold, fresh piece of humanity." When she uttered these words, Sister Mary Lurana probably recognized already that she was understating. The diminutive troublemaker sitting in her third-grade class at St. Brigid's School was undoubtedly one of the most obstreperous students she had ever encountered, but the world had seen nothing yet of William O'Reilly. This memoir captures the indefatigable host of The O'Reilly Factor in all his colorful, opinionated feistiness. Filled with fresh, bold, and inspiring stories, this candid reprise of a working-class life will appeal to O'Reilly fans and probably many others. An apt choice for readers who have enjoyed memoirs like Tim Russert's Big Russ and Me.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739369463
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/23/2008
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 6 CDs
  • Pages: 6
  • Sales rank: 667,309
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill O'Reilly
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 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.
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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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 268 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(137)

4 Star

(64)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(28)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 269 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Life is a constant struggle between good and evil. In this autobiography, O¿Reilly describes the key life experiences which shaped his beliefs with examples intermingled of what he considers evil.

    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.<BR/><BR/>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.¿<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>Bill uses his life experiences to highlight some of his other beliefs which include:<BR/>- Individual responsibility is the key to success<BR/>- The solution to poverty is education and hard work, not sympathy<BR/>- Enough money is spent in the U.S. on education. Teaching is about presentation and personal accountability; money is secondary<BR/>- Long-term friendships are declining in the U.S. because people are moving so frequently<BR/>- The U.S. did nothing ¿immoral¿ by removing Saddam Hussain, ¿a murderous dictator . . . hell-bent on causing trouble for America.¿<BR/>- People in positions of power have a responsibility to make the world a better place <BR/>- Life is unfair, but if people strive to be fair then things will balance out.<BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>His advice for success in life:<BR/>- Design your own life<BR/>- Work hard<BR/>- Don¿t cloud your thinking by getting high on drugs or alcohol<BR/>- Give most people the benefit of the doubt<BR/>- Don¿t fear authority<BR/>- Have a good time.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 28, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Bill's a regular guy!

    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.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2008

    Outstanding Book

    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.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 2, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    EXCELLENT read

    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.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Biographical in Nature

    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.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2008

    Loved It

    My guess is the haters here never actually read the book... Bill O is a great author and this book reflects that.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    a bit disappointing

    I believe every word Bill writes or says about himself..I've waiting patiently for this memoir to be published so that I will be better informed as to what makes him think and what his belief system is and how it was formed.Having read every book he has written and just finished this one, I've finally come to the conclusion that he is one of the most egocentric and self-absorbed persons I've ever heard of.He thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. The weird and goofy title of this dribble should be a good clue and indication as to what lies inside the cover.

    8 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    Learning some bold freshness!

    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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Must read Book

    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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2009

    A trip back to a better time

    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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    A refreshing portrait of one piece humanity

    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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Story!

    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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>I hope you found this review helpful.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    Outstanding Book!

    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!

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    A Good Read

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2009

    Funny, Entertaining and Enlightening!

    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!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2009

    You must read this book!

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    lolololololol

    I am sorry but...lol. what a pile of garbage. This man has lost his mind. He really believes his own 'spin'

    4 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2009

    LOVED IT!!!

    What a heartwarming book! An interesting glimpse into the life of an excellent journalist. I couldn't put it down!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2009

    Bold Fresh is just what it says it is!

    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!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A bold fresh piece of humanity review by David Brown

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 269 Customer Reviews

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