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A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir

A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

"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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Meet 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.

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A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity: A Memoir 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 270 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.