Rating: 4 out of 5
I like listening to James O’Brien. He’s a frequent backdrop to whatever I’m doing, if the timing works out with his schedule on LBC. I’d also heard good reviews of this book when I picked it up. I guess it’s all of this constant background info that I had which made me expect things from this volume, and I’m not sure it lived up to my expectations.
Now, on the first, this is a very good book! I found the way it was structured — by topic — a good way to cover the ground, and most of these topics also got plenty of information. It is also right that on a lot of questions, we shouldn’t give equal prominence to both sides.
However, the author could have improved here was the introduction and background of these topics. He has a fairly constant theme of being well educated as well as well read, with plenty of additional coverage every day on how any issue develops, especially in the British consciousness. Therefore, it would have been a good move on his part to start with the background to any particular problem and from the question of who benefits from the information being spread (but that is provably false).
The other point is that Mr O’Brien could have said so much more in this book. It’s a bit dangerous to go assessing people and works based on how much they can do as opposed to what they did, but I feel it is appropriate here. Hence the lowering of one star.
Even so, however, I wholly recommend this to everyone and it is definitely worth the time to read!