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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talkingby Susan Cain
One-third of the world's population are introverts, and we are quietly going to take over the world while you extroverts are busy yapping it up and not paying attention. Don't say you haven't been warned.
Synopses & Reviews
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society — from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts — from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert."
This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.
"While American culture and business tend to be dominated by extroverts, business consultant Cain explores and champions the one-third to one-half of the population who are introverts. She defines the term broadly, including 'solitude-seeking' and 'contemplative,' but also 'sensitive,' 'humble,' and 'risk-averse.' Such individuals, she claims (though with insufficient evidence), are 'disproportionately represented among the ranks of the spectacularly creative.' Yet the American school and workplace make it difficult for those who draw strength from solitary musing by over-emphasizing teamwork and what she calls 'the new Groupthink.' Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions. For example, she notes, introverts can negotiate as well as, or better than, alpha males and females because they can take a firm stand 'without inflaming counterpart's ego.' Cain provides tips to parents and teachers of children who are introverted or seem socially awkward and isolated. She suggests, for instance, exposing them gradually to new experiences that are otherwise overstimulating. Cain consistently holds the reader's interest by presenting individual profiles, looking at places dominated by extroverts (Harvard Business School) and introverts (a West Coast retreat center), and reporting on the latest studies. Her diligence, research, and passion for this important topic has richly paid off." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“A superbly researched, deeply insightful, and fascinating book that will change forever the way society views introverts.” Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
"An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike." Kirkus, Starred Review
“Susan Cain is the definer of a new and valuable paradigm. In this moving and original argument, she makes the case that we are losing immense reserves of talent and vision because of our culture's overvaluation of extroversion. A startling, important and readable page-turner that will make quiet people see themselves in a whole new light.” Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth
“Quiet legitimizes and even celebrates the 'niche' that represents half the people in the world. Mark my words, this book will be a bestseller.” Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment
“Susan Cain has done a superb job of sifting through decades of complex research....This book will be a boon for the many highly sensitive people who are also introverts.” Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person
"Cain offers a wealth of useful advice for teachers and parents of introverts…Quiet should interest anyone who cares about how people think, work, and get along, or wonders why the guy in the next cubicle acts that way. It should be required reading for introverts (or their parents) who could use a boost to their self-esteem." Fortune.com
"Rich, intelligent...enlightening." Wall Street Journal
"This book is a pleasure to read and will make introverts and extroverts alike think twice about the best ways to be themselves and interact with differing personality types." Library Journal
"An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are." Booklist
Book News Annotation:
Cain, whose work on introversion has appeared in newspapers and magazines, questions the modern American business culture that overlooks the positive characteristics of introverts such as persistence, reflection, and sensitivity to others' feelings. She explains the neurobiology and psychology of temperament in plain language and compares Western culture, where the individual is most important, to Eastern culture, where the group is valued more highly than the individual. She offers advice for introverts on small talk, networking, and communicating with extroverts, and even shows how to pretend to be an extrovert when necessary. She also tells how to help an introverted child. Cain teaches negotiation skills. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who invent and create but prefer not to pitch their own ideas; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts we owe many of the great contributions to society — from Van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with the indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Susan Cain charts the rise of “the extrovert ideal” over the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects — how it helps to determine everything from how parishioners worship to who excels at Harvard Business School. And she draws on cutting-edge research on the biology and psychology of temperament to reveal how introverts can modulate their personalities according to circumstance, how to empower an introverted child, and how companies can harness the natural talents of introverts. This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
About the Author
Susan Cain is a writer whose work on introversion and shyness has appeared in the New York Times, Time, O Magazine, and PsychologyToday.com. She has taught negotiation skills at corporations, law firms, and universities and practiced corporate law for seven years. Recently she was selected to speak at the TED2012 conference in Long Beach, California. An honors graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, Susan lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons.
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