Bill O'Reilly on his television show, "The O'Reilly Factor." (Jeff Christensen )
This just in: When Bill O'Reilly writes about dead presidents, he gets a bestseller. That's not "dead presidents" in the old-school hip-hop, faces-on-money sense; it's "dead presidents" as in the deaths of American presidents. Or, as his titles proclaim, their killings.
Publisher Henry Holt and Co. has sent out an announcement proclaiming, "BILL O’REILLY DOMINATES NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST WITH THREE SIMULTANEOUS NONFICTION HARDCOVERS IN THE TOP FIVE SPOTS."
Sorry about the caps. That's how they sent it.
O'Reilly's chart-topping books about dead presidents are:
- “Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot” (2012) at No. 1 on Hardcover Nonfiction
- “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever” (2011) at No. 5 on Hardcover Nonfiction
- “Lincoln's Last Days”(2012) at No. 1 on the Children's chapter book bestseller list
O'Reilly, who keeps pretty busy with his Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor," has had co-authors for his books. "Killing Kennedy" and "Killing Lincoln" were co-written by Martin Dugard.
Co-writer Dwight Jon Zimmerman helped O'Reilly out on "Lincoln's Last Days." The book is a children's version of "Killing Lincoln." Maybe someone thought that "Killing Lincoln" was not an entirely appropriate title for children.
So how are the books? Surprisingly, the left-leaning website Salon.com admiringly cited decades-old reporting by right-leaning O'Reilly in which he raised questions about John F. Kennedy's death. But it found "Killing Kennedy" to be nothing but "Kennedy for Beginners," writing, "Most of this surprisingly dumbed-down book is a biographical rehash of the Kennedy story that will contain nothing new for even casual readers of People magazine and viewers of Kennedy soap opera biopics over the years."
Nevertheless, it has been selling like crazy: 2 million copies (including e-books and audiobooks) since its October debut.
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