“How not to be Wrong” is James O’Brien’s latest book following on from “How to be Right”
O’Brien is the Marmite of radio chat show presenters, I am a fan but a critical one. His technique of persistent questioning and focus enables him to ridicule people he doesn’t agree with in a seemingly reasonable way. It’s entertainment but sometimes it feels cruel.
How to be Right was quite a self righteous book using sequences from the chat show to illustrate how questioning can puncture firmly held beliefs that are not backed up by evidence and fact.
How not to be Wrong is much more self reflective, O’Brien writes about his own personal crisis, going through therapy and how that process lead him to re-evaluate some of his own firmly held beliefs and to regret some of his past evisceration of callers to his chat show.
How not to be Wrong is thought provoking for all of us who are equally convinced about the rightness of our views on politics, social issues and life. O’Brien’s key lesson is that if you are convinced that you are right and are trying to persuade others of the folly of their opinions then you have to be able to change your own mind and reconsider your own beliefs as well. Seems like a good message to me and well worth a read.