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Bill O’Reilly had a good week.
The Fox News host’s new book, Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General, sold 165,000 hardcover copies in its opening week, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks about 85 percent of hardcover sales in the U.S.
Adding in estimates of ebook sales and the retail outlets not tracked by Nielsen, total sales were probably around 250,000 copies.
One publishing insider tweeted that O’Reilly’s sales were more than the next 14 best-selling non-fiction books or the top 15 fiction books.
His last book, Killing Jesus, was the best-selling hardcover non-fiction book of 2013 with sales of 1.5 million copies. He added another 250,000 ebooks.
In Killing Patton, O’Reilly and his co-author, Martin Dugard, suggest that the 1945 car accident that killed General George S. Patton in Germany (he died a few days later from complications of a broken neck) was fixed. The authors suggest that Soviet leader Josef Stalin wanted him dead because of his outspoken views about American cooperation with the Russians. They also suggest some in the American spy community also wanted him dead.
Historians have attacked the book. Patton’s grandson Robert Patton also disagrees with O’Reilly’s book.
Killing Patton is the fourth book in O’Reilly’s Killing series, following books about the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations and the death of Jesus (all co-written with Dugard). The first three books were also hit best-sellers.
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