Random House presents the audiobook edition of How to Be Right, written and read by James O'Brien.
Forget agreeing to disagree – it’s time to learn How To Be Right.
Every day, James O’Brien listens to people blaming benefits scroungers, the EU, Muslims, feminists and immigrants. But what makes James’s daily LBC show such essential listening – and has made James a standout social media star – is the careful way he punctures their assumptions and dismantles their arguments live on air, every single morning.
In How To Be Right, James provides a hilarious and invigorating guide to talking to people with faulty opinions. With chapters on every lightning-rod issue, James shows how people have been fooled into thinking the way they do, and in each case outlines the key questions to ask to reveal fallacies, inconsistencies and double standards.
If you ever get cornered by ardent Brexiteers, Daily Mail disciples or little England patriots, this book is your conversation survival guide.
‘I have had a ringside seat as a significant swathe of the British population was persuaded that their failures were the fault of foreigners, that unisex lavatories threatened their peace of mind and that ‘all Muslims’ must somehow apologise for terror attacks by extremists. I have tried to dissuade them and sometimes succeeded… The challenge is to distinguish sharply between the people who told lies and the people whose only offence was to believe them.’
– James O’Brien
Started listen to James on LBC radio and since them I found it very therapeutic. Decide to read the book after listen to James podcast and I was not disappointed. This is a must read.
Didn’t really enjoy it and gave up pretty quickly after he criticised Jordan Peterson without substantiating his views at all. The whole theme of the book seemed to me to talk down to people and the structure was “I’m smarter than every person that calls into my show” with brief summarisations founded on winning arguments through pointing out to people that they don’t know things and thus cannot prove their point of view. However he gives few statistics to back any appoint point of view and is happy to end each call in a kind of “You don’t why your right so your wrong” . A big chunk I found particularly unsatisfying what the message that freedom of speech is nonsense coming from the right as “you just don’t have the right to hold up your point of view unchallenged” . I agree with that statement but confined to his examples in the book it reads more as “the fact that the government is reducing your right to freedom of speech under the guise of friendliness towards the disadvantages or bullied doesn’t actually make your life worse so what’s the harm stop moaning” he also criticises anyone saying “it’s a slippery slope” as speaking in fallacies without taking any historical approach to his reasoning. (Look at any time a socialist government has been allowed to censorship speech unchecked, the results have led to some of the greatest atrocities in history). On that point I may also add that he himself uses the slippery slope fallacy as a kind of sympathetic, patronising explanation as to how ordinary people can end up with supposing views to his own through the rabbit hole that newspapers send them down.
He debates politicians and radio show callers and displays the frustrations of these people as a personal victory when they refuse to confine the nuance of a debate to a simple YES or NO question he has presented them with.
Not impressed at all and I would love to see him actually debate against an intellectual such as Jordan Peterson who he so freely passes of as a alt-right mouthpiece in the same breath as he admits not being well versed in the works of.
Sadly I doubt this will happen as I am sure he knows all to well that his slippery debating techniques would be exposed, mocked and corrected in the most polite and genuine way .
A lot of unsubstantiated claims with no evidence
The biggest problem I had with this book is James O’brien fails to present the facts and evidence.
He teaches you how to counter argue by picking holes in the arguements and straw manning each claim. However, I was absolutely disappointed that there is a lack of evidence or facts. He fails to examine the counter arguments and counter evidence, and he does not present his evidence either to back his claims either,
It is just a lot of angry assertions against conservative thinking with no evidence or logical examination of the facts on both sides.