Or will it merely make you a cranky loner?
I read this book and have learned the value of consistent questioning the validity of my assumptions. I am involved in a business that is on the bleeding edge of technology. You must question and re-question everything on a frequent basis or you will find yourself yesterday's news. Will this book help you to develop the approach to be successful? YES. The rest is up to you.
Mr Neill lays out in short, specific chapters, his arguments for why popular opinions often times turn out to be wrong, while the opposite, contrary opinion, would turn out to be corrrect. The historical examples he uses make one wonder if the "New Economy" of the 1990's is really just a precursor to the types of events seen in the late 1920's/early 1930's and the early 1950's, when prominent economists touted a New Era of prosperity (we all know what the happened afterwards).
Mr. Neill also cites past writers who analyzed the behavior of man, and how he gets caught up in the "herd". While sometimes getting off the subject, Mr. Neill lays out a clear framwork of how one assesses what the "popular" opinion is, and how to teach yourself not to get caught up in the herd and to think independantly.
A highly recommended book for those who wish to understand how contrary minds think, or for those who need a "refresher" (getting your mind out of a rut according to Neill).