Kevin O'Keefe's The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation's
Most Ordinary Citizen became a national bestseller soon after its U.S. debut.
Its regional success includes its ranking sixth on The Patriot Ledger's South Shore
Bestsellers list for the Boston-to-Cape Cod metropolitan area.
The celebrated nonfiction book has been required reading for students
at many high schools and colleges and—from U.S. businesses to HSBC offices
in India to the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria—a diversity of employees worldwide.
Published by PublicAffairs and Chilva and optioned by Fox Television Studios,
The Average American has been credited as the inspiration for many other
searches for statistically average people, places and things.
"When you peel back the numbers
and look at the lives underneath,
it turns out there's much to love
about Average, and much to
learn, as Kevin O'Keefe
discovered when he set out. . .
What O'Keefe found in
his travels was. . . the wisdom
of crowds, and pretty soon
the average just might
become your ideal"
"The journey toward run-of-the-mill has never been so remarkable"
"overturn[s] commonly held notions of what the average American does and thinks. . . intriguing, combining as it does the elements of a detective story and the trivia interest of Ripley's Believe It or Not"
The New York Times
"A demographic portrait that is distinct"
The New Yorker
"an interesting journey [of] experiences and discoveries"
President Barack Obama in a letter to the author
"a twist of the sharpest citrus peel"
The Independent (Great Britain)
"a fun and informative way to find out just how average you are—or aren't"
American Profile—Our Picks selection
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a letter to the author
"a terrific book. You've got to pick it up and read it. . . a great story"
Steve Doocy on FOX & Friends
"a fun and fascinating story of all of us"
Catholic Digest—Top Pick of the Month
"What a thoroughly delightful book. . . At the end of the book, O'Keefe reveals the identity of the Average American, but it is the search itself—and the author's exploration of the whole concept of being average—that makes this curious book so illuminating and enjoyable"
"has turned ordinary into an art"
Hannah Storm on CBS' The Early Show
"Great dinner conversation. . . get this book and see how average you are"
Martha Stewart on Martha
The Hollywood Reporter
"Lessons about life that hit close to home"
Richard Schlesinger on CBS Evening News
"O'Keefe. . . has figured out what it means to be
average in this country. . . I love his book"
Michael Smerconish on
The Michael Smerconish Show
"a great American quest. . . transforms an inventory of statistical figures into real, human figures whose stories sound familiar, but surprise nonethless"
"a fascinating assortment of characters who are both surprising and familiar. . . a surprisingly good read"
"thought-provoking read. . .
about the issues of our time"
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (Louisiana)
"delightfully conceived and well-written. . . meticulously and painstakingly researched. There is a lot of suspense as well as a wealth of information"
The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
"a lively, fact-filled trip"
New York Post
"It's a great book. It's a fascinating read. . .
Don't wait. Get the book now"
Jerry Doyle on The Jerry Doyle Show
"O'Keefe wrote a fascinating study. . . a colorful and statistically accurate picture of the average American. . . His findings will challenge long-held, often even dogmatic views held by most Americans about the 'average' among them. This book is good reading for anyone who wants to understand the real world in which we operate"
The HS Dent Foundation—Recommended Reading List
"an interesting discovery"
The Washington Post
"one of a rare breed: the truly informative, flowing nonfiction narrative. It's difficult to achieve such a thing in a non-biographical book, and one so laden with facts. Somehow, though, O'Keefe manages to retain the reader's attention while using the statistics to draw us even further into the story. . . I was impressed. . . the numbers in the context of a compelling array of experiences, which fueled further numerical analysis, was refreshing. . . enough to make me say 'Wow!'""
Toni Borland, Read It Now
"a lot of thought about whether average is a
good thing, something to look down on, or
something to aspire to"
Neal Conan on NPR's Talk of the Nation
"The American way of life"
Los Angeles Times
"This fascinating, thought-provoking book debunks a lot of what politicians and the media would have us think about our friends and neighbors"
"the definitive average American"
New York Daily News
"O'Keefe...floods the pages with statistics that could make one's head spin, but also gives readers a choice in what they want to absorb and keep. . . The Average American is a studious, well-researched look at the many types of lives which make up the United States and all that occupies our days. . . a unique viewpoint and the end result is surprising"
Valley Scene magazine
"a real fun and funny book. . . an enlightening
book about who we really turn out to be"
Colin McEnroe on Afternoons with
Bruce and Colin (Connecticut)
"a lot of fun. . . It's genius, really, because we get to hear the stories of a lot of interesting people in the process"
Two Books A Week
"a keen sense of observation"
"a lively, fun and thought-provoking read"
Grand Forks Herald (North Dakota)
"nice surprises. . . against what you hear on the
media or see on television. . . I want to make
sure everybody gets. . . The Average American"
Kathryn Zox on Kathryn Zox Show (New York)
"A fascinating book. . . It grabs you. . . It's got everything you could possibly want"
Reid Howell on KYMO Morning Show (Missouri)
"A turn of events that could have come out of The Wizard of Oz"
Broadcaster North (Connecticut)
"The book is greatly fascinating"
Rick Crandall on Rick Crandall's Breakfast Club (Colorado)
"It's really such a heartbeat of America"
John Pendleton on The John Pendleton Show (Florida)
"It will teach you a lot about people"
Bob Rivers on The Bob Rivers Show (Washington)
"a wonderful new book. . . There's great humor"
Gary O'Brien on Gary O'Brien and Friends (Illinois)
"a slice of everyday America, and it will make you pause and take stock of your life"
The Hippo (New Hampshire)
"An amazing story. . . In this period of debate over what constitutes being an American, [O'Keefe] has defined it"
Mark Mason on The Mark and Dave Show (Oregon)
"A wonderful story"
Lynn Cullen on Lynn Cullen Show (Pennsylvania)
"a trivia buff's dream. . . If you're delighted by current events and enjoy knowing the minutiae of everyday life, resolve to read this book"
Pahrump Valley Times (Nevada)
"fun. . . the ultimate segment. . . It's a great reminder that marketing segmentation is the science of finding"
"I love the book. . . What I found intriguing, what I enjoyed most in the book, were the interviews. . . A great book"
Connie Asero on Viewpoints (North Carolina)
"extremely interesting and pertinent as I travel the country"
U.S. Senator Mark Warner (Virginia)
"my wife could not put it down. . . The book is a great read, folks"
Glenn Lance on The Morning Show on WKSR (Tennessee)
"I love this kind of thinking. The book, you have to read it. . . This one you really want to savor to the end"
Ron Ball on Coastal Daybreak (North Carolina)
"Entertaining and enlightening"
Hinton News (West Virginia)
"What does O'Keefe's search prove? That we're more
unique than we think"
John Tesh on Intelligence for Your Life
"We have a good many pictures—and caricatures—of the typical American. But is that actually prevalent of the average American? Kevin O'Keefe has found the answer"
"an outstanding book. . . a keeper. . . recommended by just tons of people. . . some amazing people on the journey and I just got the biggest kick out of seeing how these people approached life"
Ron Thulin on The Ron Thulin Show (Texas)
"A phenomenal book. . . A fantastic book. . . I have certainly been enlightened. . . Read The Average American"
Scott Chesney on Maximizing Life with Scott Chesney (VoiceAmerica)
"Fascinating. It truly is"
Jamie Phillips on Mix Morning Show (Iowa)
"O'Keefe. . . has done a remarkable job at finding out who is average"
Jane Foy on WINA Morning Show (Virginia)
"highly informative and interesting"
U.S. Congressman Nick Rahall (West Virginia)
"A great book"
Nate Shelman on Alabama Mornings
"an excellent book, incredible. . . I like [O'Keefe's] whole style of checking out what's real"
Allen Handelman on The Allen Handelman Show
"In a nutshell, this is what America is. . . Awesome"
Matt McAllister on The Morning Show on KTYD (California)
"O'Keefe experiences a deep and profound appreciation. . . for ordinary life in all its glory. . . The book raises issues that are precious"
Senior Pastor Rick Vincent, Immanuel Church, West Bend, Wisconsin
Among others who have addressed the book in sermons: Timothy Merrill (minister, Henderson Community Church, Henderson, Colorado), Dr. Steve Jackson (founding pastor, NewSong Community Church, Cumming, Georgia), Dr. Bill Stoop (rector, St. George's Epsicopal Church, Roseburg, Oregon), Dr. J. Lawrence Cuthill (senior pastor, Winter Park Presbyterian Church, Winter Park, Florida), Brad Mather (lead pastor, Bethany United Methodist Church, Madison, Wisconsin), Charles Exley (pastor, St. Luke Lutheran Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico), Dewey Johnson (pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Crystal City, Missouri), Henry Brinton (pastor, Fairfax Presbyterian Church, Fairfax, VIrginia), Brad Beeman (reverand, Santa Monica First United Methodist Church, Santa Monica, California), Scott Carmer (pastor, Calvery United Methodist Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana), Dale Rosenberger (senior minister, Dennis Union Church, Dennis, Massachusetts)
Kevin O'Keefe is an award-winning marketing
expert and technology entrepreneur whose
clients have included many leading national
and international brands. Also an independent
writer, his articles have been published in
The New York Times, ESPN The Magazine
and other popular outlets.
A former all-America athlete who grew up
in Connecticut, O'Keefe was named by
The Hartford Courant to its Connecticut's
Best of the Century team. He currently
serves as a volunteer youth-sports coach
in New York City, where he resides with
his wife Kathy and their three children.
O'Keefe can be found on Instagram.
"After analyzing 280 million people and publishing a book that shares its two-word title with this distinction, author Kevin O'Keefe was able to single out, for 10 points, what person?"
Question, Stanford University Quiz Bowl
O'Keefe collaborated with television journalist Diane Sawyer for
this Good Morning America story in which the author appears
Speeches Alabama: Alabama Book Festival (Montgomery), Auburn University (Auburn); California: Livermore Reads Together (Livermore); Connecticut: Arcadia Coffee Company (Old Greenwich), Borders (Farmington), Chaplin Elementary School (Chaplin), E.O. Smith High School (Storrs), New Canaan Library (New Canaan), UConn Co-op Bookstore (Storrs), Windham Tech (Windham); Massachusetts: Eagle Hill School commencement address (Hardwick); New York: BookExpo America (Manhattan), Brooklyn Public Library (Brooklyn), KGB Bar (Manhattan), Morgan Stanley (Manhattan), PwC (Manhattan), The New York Times Great Read in the Park (Manhattan); South Carolina: Renaissance Weekend (Charleston), South Carolina Book Festival keynote address (Columbia); Virginia: Virginia Festival of the Book (Charlottesville)
Television Appearances Connecticut: Town Talk (Charter Communications); New York: Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN), CBS Evening News, CNN Live, FOX & Friends, Good Morning America (ABC), Martha (syndication), Showbiz Tonight (CNN), The Early Show (CBS); Massachusetts: Nitebeat with Barry Nolan (CN8); South Carolina: BookTV (C-SPAN2); Virginia: BookTV (C-SPAN2); The Netherlands: Westerman's Nieuwe Wereld
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