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on September 23, 2008
Forgive me if my critique is not "pithy"

I couldn't wait to read this book. I bought it this morning and left work early so I could read it. Why? Because Bill Oreilly fascinates me and I thought his memoir would give some real answers as to how this man, who truly is an American original, thinks.

First off, I actually had the privilege of meeting and briefly working with Bill Oreilly. After graduating college in the early nineties, I wrote to Mr. OReilly and asked him for advice on getting a job in television. I knew nothing about him, only that he was a fellow graduate of my high school (Chaminade High in Long Island) and that he was the anchorman of some show called "Inside Edition" (which I had never even watched)

To my surprise, Mr. OReilly not only responded but invited me to the studio, took me to lunch and offered me a temporary production assistant job for Inside Edition. I began a career on Wall Street shortly after my stint with Inside Edition ended, but I have always been grateful to him for helping out some kid he didn't know. He is a man of character.

And let me tell you, the man is fearless in every way and he is not a phony. He is exactly like he is on screen (albeit more reserved). Which is why I wanted to read this. I wanted to know- what makes this man tick? How did he come to be the person that he is today?

Does this book answer these questions? - Sort of

Not really a complete life memoir(by his own admission),"Bold Piece" is a kind of "Thoughtography"-a collection a remembrances of his early life followed by essays on how they shaped his current actions.

With chapter titles like "Politics" "Fear" "Saving the World" and "Standing for something", Mr. Oreilly intersperses stories of his early life with how they affected his later life dealings and adult philosophies.

Does it shed light on the inner life of the man? To a degree, yes.

The book has many entertaining and insightful highlights including:

1) A story about a grammar school classmate named Norma was especially touching. It will make you understand his sometimes-heated anger at injustice.
2) As a graduate of Chaminade High School, I especially enjoyed his thoughts on class warfare at the school. It is a subject rarely discussed to any effectiveness. His story about the "Levittown Sandlot- Chaminade football game" could be an entertaining Disney Movie
3) It gives a sense of the importance of his life experiences. Unlike Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who I doubt have EVER sought to expand their horizons, Mr. Oreilly has walked the walk. He has traveled to 70 countries, received 2 graduate degrees, and even taught at an inner city high school. His stories about a student named "Miss Jones" and his exposure to Anti Americanism while studying abroad will help you further understand his self reliance and love of country view point.
4) His stories about friendship are especially touching. An expansion of his "Friendship Factor" chapter in his first book, he gives examples of why his friends are so important to him. The Joe Spencer - Peter Jennings story is especially moving. He really should write an entire book about the importance of friendship. It is his most astute chapter.

But the big question I wanted to know -why is this man so confident and fearless?- Is never quite answered. Having grown up in his native Long Island, I have known many a person like Bill OReilly. You could magically drop them onto the far side of the galaxy and they will always espouse hard work, faith, family, and the goodness of America without the slightest doubt. After reading this book, I've come to the conclusion that Mr. OReilly simply is one of those men and probably always will be. No matter what their experiences in life, some people are just born that way.

A few critiques-

1) I do think Mr. OReilly should fess up and admit that he took a teaching job in the early 70's partially to avoid being drafted (he quits the job in 1973 just as the war ends) . It is clear that that was at least a strong possibility.
2) I also think he should have elaborated on what I think is his greatest dichotomy. Why does he have so a low opinion of the competence of federal government yet sincerely believes their actions in Iraq at the time of invasion were not to be questioned?
3) I think he is a little too hard on Katrina Victims. In one section, he explains that he would have "gotten in his car and left" in the same situation, never once thinking that most of the people couldn't do that because they didn't HAVE cars.
4) I also think he was just a little too hard on the movie "Love Story" (you have to read the book). I loved that movie!

All in all - a good enlightening read but not the "Window into the Soul" that I was hoping for.
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on May 5, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story of Bill O'Reilly's working class, Catholic School upbringing, very similar in may ways to my own. Knowing about his family and friends helped me understand him better. Though I don't always agree with him, I do always enjoy the way he presents his ideas and analyses of current events, and stands by his core beliefs.
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on January 2, 2014
I read this book several years ago and loved it. Great family stories. You need to leave your politics at the door and let yourself enjoy a very good family story. I could relate to many of the incidences he describes (like his experiences in a Catholic school). I remember getting my fingers slapped with a ruler (for my errors in behavior) and being sent to sit out in the hallway. I remember growing up around big old Chevrolets. So many wonderful recollections.

The funniest book I have ever read was Forrest Gump. Growing up in Mobile, Alabama was like being in Greenbow where Forrest grew up.

This book is probably my second most favorite book because I could really relate to it!

Read it! You'll like it!
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on September 16, 2013
I knew from watching his show that Bill O'Reilly has a very dry, sense of humor, to put it mildly. This ebook is just an affirmation. I could not stop listening. The humor in this is priceless, but it is even more so if you were raised in a very Catholic home and went to a nun run parochial school. But even for the non-Catholic, you can't help but find the humor in his exploits. Brought back many great memories of my Catholic school days! Very, very enjoyable and a far cry from the political scene now. Thank God for this book. Bravo, Mr. O'Reilly!
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on September 14, 2013
This book was a bit disappointing as Bill starts to talk about his growing up but then it goes into his school years and he keeps jumping around from grades to relationships with buddies to his teaching days. He does not start school years and continue in a nice easy flow as the years progress. Too jumpy to enjoy.
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on August 28, 2013
Great book, Bill O'Reilly tells it like it is as he always dose and very informative and entertaining. He was brought up with moral fiber and a strong sense of right and wrong and displays that in this book. I don't always agree with everything he says, but I did enjoy this book and had some laugh out loud moments.
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on December 5, 2014
Very interesting look into the life and times of a very amazing man. Being of Irish Catholic descent myself, and having attended Catholic schools thru 6th grade, I can really relate to his experiences in those schools. I had no idea he was that old - he certainly does not look to be in his sixties.
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on September 30, 2008
The one-star reviews must be pre-boomers, because I found the book entertaining to those of us who came of age in the 60s and 70s; so what if the guy has an ego? He deserves it, given his upbringing and sense of family. Much of his humor is self-deprecating; so he fights for the the "little guys and gals?" This was meant to be a memoir (Get It?), not a political commentary; Bill has three hours daily devoted to that; he wanted the public to see how his values were formed; his loyalty to family and friends is commendable; he doesn't forget "those who brung (sic) us," which is a famous Darrel Royal quote when playing James Street in the title game against Notre Dame on January 1, 1970. Put aside your own biases and read the book for what it is--entertainment.
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on September 13, 2014
I Luv this book becomes it is the same long island new York my mother grew up in 15 years earlier. Wish he had not taken out so much of the funny things that happened @ st mary Catherine's in the new version. Pam
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on November 9, 2011
I started to give this only 1 star and decided if I took what I knew about Bill O'reilly out of the equation I could probably rate it higher. There were parts of the book I did enjoy reading. What doesn't add up to me is to read about some of his experiences and in some cases some rather heart warming stories and then match that to the closed minded opinionated quick to judgement (with out enough information) person we see before us today. How could you see and experience anti American sentiment first hand and not logically apply that information to every thing we've been doing with our foreign for the past 60 years. There is a huge disconnect here that just doesn't make sense to me. Reading this makes me think Bill O'reilly honestly believes he is doing the right thing. In his background, he seems to have the life experiences which would make most men gain wisdom and understanding. The only thing this book really reveals to me is how complex the human mind is and how different humans can be. If some of what's written here is true, the life's experiences outlined in this book should have produced a wise and humble man. Instead they produced a Bill O'reilly? Even though I often agree with Bill O'reilly on a number of specific issues, I come to the same conclusion he does through an entirely different thought process and usually cringe at the simple process he uses which seem to be totally void of any principles or logic. Even when we agree, he seems to reach his conclusions using a much simpler thought process than the rest of us. It's more like "It's what I want and the way I like it so it's right!" I just don't believe Bill O'reilly wrote this book. That's Probably why I can give it 2 stars instead of one!
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