How Not to Be Wrong

How Not to Be Wrong


In his bestselling How To Be Right, James provided an invigorating guide to how to talk to people with bad opinions. And yet the question he always gets asked is ‘If you’re so sure about everything, haven’t you ever changed your mind?’

In an age of us vs. them, tribal loyalties and bitter divisions, the ability to change our minds may be the most important power we have. In this intimate, personal new book, James’s focus shifts from talking to other people to how you talk to yourself about what you really think. Ranging across a dazzling array of big topics, cultural questions and political hot potatoes, James reveals where he has changed his mind, explains what convinced him, and shows why all of us need to kick the tyres of our opinions, check our assumptions and make sure we really think what we think we do.

Coloured with stories of changing minds from the incredible guests on his podcasts and callers to his radio show, and spanning big ideas like press regulation and brexit, through to playful subjects like football and dog-ownership, How Not To Be Wrong is packed with revelations, outrage, conversations and lots of humour.

Because in a world that seems more divided than ever, if you can’t change your own mind you’ll never really be able to change anyone else’s.

Our Review

How Not To Be Wrong by James O’Brien is an open, honest and insightful book in which he tackles his opinions on uncomfortable and divisive topics.

I am not a huge fan of political books in general, but I have to admit it was the title that first caught my attention. I didn’t know who the author was, but I had an inkling I would enjoy the book.

“Hate, at it’s heart, is about the exercise of power.”

How Not To Be Wrong covers a variety of topics from many perspectives and allows the reader to open their mind to the possibility that they are wrong in their opinion just as he has been many times in the past.

“There is no point in having a mind if you never change it. We should change our minds when we realise we are wrong. We realise we are wrong – or at least that we are not necessarily right – after being exposed to superior science or stronger arguments, experiences and evidence that refutes our previous position. In short, by listening, thinking and learning.”

O’Brien’s time as a radio show host has brought him into contact with a wide variety of people and opinions.

How Not To Be Wrong covers corporal punishment, racism and white privilege. It also includes Black lives matter, views on the transgender community and veganism.

Many of his past opinions shocked me and most of his current opinions were ones I shared. There were times when I became irritated with his stance on marriage, but it was nice to know he is aware his views may well be outdated.

Some of the chapters got me to consider alternative viewpoints than me own and one in particular had me changing my mind continuously.

An excellent read.


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Our Rating

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