BEING WRONG: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz

As someone who has made lots of mistakes, I was naturally drawn to the title of this book.  I picked it up hoping for tips on how to be wrong more effectively, how to learn more from my mistakes, or perhaps how to be less frequently wrong.

Turns out this is not a self-help book.  “Adventures” is also a bit of a misnomer (though a good idea by the PR Dept. because it certainly drew MY attention); the book is more a series of philosophical contemplations and engaging stories.  But it is still a worthwhile read.  It addresses, as far as I can tell, every possible angle one could consider about being wrong—from why we hate being wrong to what it means for our relationships and even our form of governance.  For example, while many of us no doubt find it frustrating to discuss politics with people (especially relatives) who don’t see the world the way we do, this book reminds us that the founding fathers of the United States believed passionately in this ideal: “that political leadership would not come from a single, supposedly infallible ruler, but from an openly fallible body politic, out of whose clamor and error would emerge a path to liberty and justice for all.”  In other words, democracy depends on—and in fact is defined by—the possibility of disagreement.  Freedom includes the freedom to be wrong and the freedom to change and grow.

It would be impossible to summarize all of the key ideas in this book because it is so wide-ranging, and that is part of its appeal.  If you want to know more about identity, listening, heartbreak, and why we sometimes behave the way we do, among other things, then BEING WRONG could be the right book for you.

About OnlyGoodBooks

Creator of The Literacy Cookbook (, I am an educational consultant who also happens to love to read incessantly. I found myself referring friends to so many books that it seemed like time to create a blog to record all of these recommendations. So here it is.
This entry was posted in Change, For BUSINESS PEOPLE, For EDUCATORS, For PARENTS, Nonfiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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