Monday, June 12, 2017

Bill O'Reilly Primed to Tackle The American Revolution

Bill O'Reilly turns the attention of his mega-bestselling Killing series to the American Revolution. In September 2017, Killing England will go live. According to its preview Amazon listing: "Told through the eyes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Great Britain’s King George III, Killing England chronicles the path to independence in gripping detail, taking the reader from the battlefields of America to the royal courts of Europe."

Of course, the title isn't accurate. The Founding Fathers weren't trying to kill England. Indeed, they didn't even want to separate from England initially. They simply wanted the British Empire to live up to the principles of its own constitutional heritage and to honor the promises of its colonial charters. Even when war came, and the Declaration of Independence was later signed, they still didn't want to destroy the British Empire. They only wanted to be left alone. Many of them, including Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, were actually rather fond of the British and pushed for closer British ties after the war.

O'Reilly and Martin Dugard have, of course, received a great deal of criticism for errors and sensationalism for their Killing series. But I think it's unfair to hold the Killing books to the same level of scrutiny one reserves for true historical texts like the mammoth John Adams biography by David McCullough or the classic The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon Wood. The O'Reilly-Dugard books aren't works of scholarship. They are best understood as being in the genre of "creative nonfiction." If you want deep scholarly analysis, they are not for you. But if you want an enjoyable read that transports you into the era they each profile, they accomplish their task. Some of the Killing books are better than others, but I've nevertheless enjoyed reading most of them.

As a Revolutionary War buff, I can't wait for this new book!

1 comment:

Anuj Agarwal said...

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