“Bold Fresh” is a quick and enjoyable read. Let me say up front – I’m a fan of Bill O’Reilly and have read most of his other books. If you are a fan, chances are you will enjoy this latest book as well. If you are not a fan, and can put aside your reflexive hatred of the man (sorry – had to get that tweak in…) you can gain some valuable insight into what has led Mr. O’Reilly to where he is today.
Unlike most of his other books, “Bold Fresh” is a personal narrative that explores many of the events, people, and experiences that helped shape O’Reilly’s world view. While there is ample discussion of what the world view is (much of which will be familiar to anyone who has read “Culture Warrior”), what I found most interesting where the personal anecdotes and stories that have provided the foundation for those beliefs. O’Reilly is not known for sharing details about his private life, so I found this opportunity to hear about his experiences in Catholic school, his first teaching job out of college, and lifelong friendships to be very intriguing.
The book is a very quick read and if I have one complaint it’s that I would have liked to have heard more about O’Reilly’s life – especially his early career in journalism. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to see how O’Reilly’s went from Catholic School rabble rouser, to hard-nosed journalist and voice for the “folks”. He writes with a no nonsense and not overly sentimental style that reflects the self confidence and courage of conviction that viewers see every night on “The Factor”. In fact it’s hard not to hear O’Reilly’s distinctive voice and delivery while reading these pages.
Overall, I would give this book 3 ½ stars. It was well written, informative, but I was left wanting a little more. Fans of O’Reilly will be satisfied, and detractors (if open minded) will still find inspiration in his rise from humble beginnings to powerful media commentator. Of course – many will just continue to hate O’Reilly because he is outspoken, opinionated, and very successful. That’s no spin – just the truth.
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