4.21.2014

Killing History

Producing a book of historical scholarship can be difficult, especially when one is writing for a popular audience. Take a gander at the New York Times Best Sellers if you want to grasp the nature of the problem. Just last week, your Editor spotted in the Top 5 Hardcover Nonfiction and Print/E-book Nonfiction a book with the word "Nazi" in the title, a book by a late night teevee comedian, a book by a conservative "comedian," and a book about a four year old's journey to heaven where he got to hang out with God and Jesus and the gang. America knows what it wants!

So perhaps we cannot totally blame teevee guy Bill O'Reilly for titling his history of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln "Killing Lincoln." It's simple, catchy, and more of a factual statement than Heaven is for Real. But if the American public has been an enthusiastic consumer of this book (and its made-for-TV special!), the U.S. Park Service has refused to sell Killing Lincoln where Lincoln was killed due to its numerous factual errors.

This didn't stop ol' Bill though. Using this template, he went on to co-author two more books on other subjects that have already been written about endlessly, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus. Given that O'Reilly's B.A. in History from Marist College (currently ranked 375th best in the U.S. by Forbes!) might not seem the strongest basis for being an author of various history books, Your Editor foolishly assumed that the co-author (always appearing as MARTIN DUGARD below BILL O'REILLY) must then be a trained historian with a Ph.D. in History. Au contraire! Mr. Dugard does not claim any degree and splits his time between writing and coaching high school track, making him that rare person honored as a New York Times bestselling author *and* "Girls Varsity Cross-Country Coach of the Year" in Orange County, CA.

Considering how successful the duo of O'Reilly and Dugard has been, why leave history writing to the historians? In fact, why even leave history writing to history? The Volidity Report has thus decided to write a history of the future, predicting what books might be next for Bill O'Reilly and other potential co-authors (assuming that Martin Dugard will be busy with track-and-field season). Let's review!

Hey, here's another famous guy in history who was assassinated and has had countless books written about him! And these books stretch back to the time of Bill's posthumous co-author, making them perennial bestsellers. As for drama, this gripping story is sure to get the public's attention. Apparently, some guy also wrote a play about this subject which has remained pretty popular. Speaking of...

Since Romeo Must Die is already a modern classic, presumably Hamlet will have to suffice as the basis for Bill's next project. The title even works on several levels, as the death of *King* Hamlet is what drives the actions of *Prince* Hamlet, leading many to want to kill the Prince as well.

The cynical among you might say, "But this is literature, not history!" However, as we have already witnessed, "nonfiction" is a broad category indeed. And for those who don't know, Heart of Darkness is Based on True Events™ and Kurtz bears quite a resemblance to a real-life historical figure.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away an emperor was assassinated, making for the basis of another future Bill O'Reilly historical investigation. Thanks to the existence of video recordings and reference works as source materials, present-day researchers can begin to piece together these important galacto-political events.

Finally, the natural next step for Bill in this series is to document some very recent history. Your Editor speaks, of course, about events that occurred in the year 2005, when the devious Decepticons ambushed Autobot City on Earth and fatally wounded Optimus Prime.

We here at the Volidity Report Book Club will work hard to negotiate with Bill O'Reilly's esteemed publisher, Henry Holt and Co, in order to bring you these important works at affordable prices. We're thinking of titling the series "Killing History." Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Dude, you've got some serious gold in here. So good!

    ReplyDelete