Book in the news: James O’Brien, the bloviating pundit of the left

How To Be Right…. In a World Gone Wrong

James O’Brien
WH Allen (£12.99)

Buy on Amazon

Radio talk-show hosts have a reputation of being “grumpy middle-aged men who think the world is going to hell in a politically correct handcart”, says Roland White in The Sunday Times. So LBC presenter James O’Brien is “something of an oddity” – a radio talk-show host with liberal views. The theme of his book is that “ordinary people would be kinder and more open-minded if they weren’t frightened to death by newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the more lurid parts of the internet”.

The book is “the silliest elements of his LBC show writ large”, says John Ashmore on CapX. A “decent chunk is taken up by transcripts of O’Brien’s conversations with members of the public”, generally people “who have decided the country is going to hell in a handcart”. But he is not the “fearless seeker of the truth” he would have you believe, more “a leftish equivalent of the bloviating pundits he has such fun lampooning”.

Ironically, the most illuminating parts of the book arrive in his rare moments of uncertainty, says Fiona Sturges in The Guardian. “One suspects that O’Brien has a more detailed and scholarly book in him that could dig deeper into where we are politically.” Still, even as it is with all its flaws, it still  “provides a much-needed examination of the blustering rhetoric of politicians and media pundits”.