O’Reilly’s “Killing…” works

I was reluctant to pick up any of the works authored by Fox Network’s Bill O’Reilly over the years for I am not on the same page politically with Mr. O’Reilly. I do find him personally to be very comfortable to listen to when he is on other programs, but on his own I have not found him comfortable, and therefore stayed away from his written work. However, I have jumped completely on-board with his three “Killing…” works. I feared his political bias would overshadow, if not completely dominate, his written presentation, but I have found that not to be the case.

I started with his Killing Jesus book based on a recommendation from a fellow parishioner and I was fascinated by the historical research. Mr. O’Reilly does not seek to make this a work about faith but a work on history and he does (along with Martin Dugard, his co-author) a masterful job. The text puts into historical context the  story of Jesus Christ so that the reader learns more thoroughly the political climate, the cultural climate, and the social climate of the time and place. These are  the understandings we tell students to seek, for it is only in those understandings that we can more fully understand the events of the past. I have studied World History, and I certainly have studied/learned of the religious events, but I have not had the clarity of these contextual understandings that his work provides. Kudos Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Dugard.

I have since read Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln and have found them equally solid and worthwhile. We often find it difficult to get students to read outside pieces due to the length and complexity of so many historical works. These books are rather fast reads (about 300 pages each) and I would expect students to find them interesting swell as intriguing. I would encourage educators to consider using these 3 texts as outside reading assignments in their courses.

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