NYT calls Bill O'Reilly "arguably the most popular history author in America"





 

“Abe would have liked this book,” the Fox News television host Bill O’Reilly said confidently of his blockbuster best-seller “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever.” Even the ending?
 
Mr. O’Reilly reasoned that Lincoln would have liked this fast-paced, thrillerlike retelling of his death “because it is simple and he was a really simple guy, straightforward guy. He didn’t like a lot of subterfuge or a lot of nonsense.”
 
“I don’t know if Kennedy would have liked the book,” he added with a tad of reflection about “Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot,” his other history book written with Martin Dugard that is currently dominating the nonfiction best-seller lists, “because it really lays him out as far as what he did, and some of it wasn’t very nice. But in the end he comes off as fairly heroic.”
 
No one could accuse Mr. O’Reilly, 63, of playing down his own appeal — and perhaps justifiably so. He anchors the highest-rated news program on cable, his political and personal writings like “A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity” (2008) and “Pinheads and Patriots” (2010) have been huge sellers, and now, in his latest franchise, he has become arguably the most popular history author in America.
 
In the 65 weeks since “Killing Lincoln” was released in fall 2011, Mr. O’Reilly has owned territory near the top of The New York Times’s best-seller list for hardcover nonfiction. It would have been an extraordinary run by itself, but in October he released “Killing Kennedy,” which has since sold about one million copies.


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