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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

by

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Cover

 

Awards

Staff Pick

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.
Recommended by Linda C., Powell's Books at PDX

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

“A superbly researched, deeply insightful, and fascinating book that will change forever the way society views introverts.” Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

Review:

"An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike." Kirkus, Starred Review

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

Review:

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

Review:

“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

Review:

"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

Review:

"Rich, intelligent...enlightening." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"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

Review:

"An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are." Booklist

About the Author

Susan Cain is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking which has been translated into more than 20 languages. Her writing on introversion and shyness has appeared in the New York Times; the Dallas Morning News; The Atlantic; O, The Oprah Magazine; Time.com; and PsychologyToday.com. Cain has also spoken at Microsoft, Google, the U.S. Treasury, and at TED 2012. Since her TED talk was posted online, it has been viewed more than one million times. She has appeared on national broadcast television and radio including CBS This Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered, and NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show, and her work has been featured on the cover of Time magazine, in Wired, Fast Company, Real Simple, Fortune, Forbes, USA Today, the Washington Post, CNN, Slate.com, and many other publications. She is an honors graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

Karen Sampson, February 8, 2014 (view all comments by Karen Sampson)
I was immediately taken with this book as I am one of those introverts for whom the world seems too full of chatter. Wonderful discussion about the contributions that introverts give, and have given in the past, to our evolution and societal structure. Highly recommend!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Sean Hayes, October 14, 2013 (view all comments by Sean Hayes)
I have been waiting for a book like this for many years, and read it as a sort of manifesto. It could be a companion piece to Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright Sided, in which brain dead optimism is connected with recent social failures.

In this book, we see how the world is stacked in favor of a singular personality trait - the extroverted 'hail fellow well met' with a smile and firm handshake for everyone - to the point where any contrasting personality type is considered a mental disorder, or totally shunted off into social abnormality. Cain explores how this can cause conflict in classrooms (which are now increasingly oriented toward group learning, a subject that could have been explored at more length), workplaces (in which open plans meant to foster creativity actually promote distractions), cultural interactions (differences in Eastern and Western modes of communication), and parenting. She explores existential differences between the two personality types, which strikes me as far more significant than books like "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus," which identify similar problems as part of a divide between genders or races.

Along with scientific analysis of personality types, Cain uses her own experience (as an introverted business consultant) to show others how they can use their introverted personalities to help them in positions - social, work, relationships - which would seem to favor the extroverted.

I did see a flaw in the self help aspect of the book in the same area I normally see flaws in the genre: Most of her examples were of business leaders, lawyers, yuppie parents, etc. It is no coincidence that self help books target the very people who can afford to attend lectures and seminars which typically arise as corollaries to any best selling book of this type.

There are definite problems faced by anyone (no longer merely the disadvantaged or uneducated) who seeks work in customer service, retail, or other areas where want ads sometimes read "now hiring smiling faces," with no mention of actual qualifications. Cain does go into this at one point with call center employees, but it could have been better explored. Ditto job interviewing, and isometric tests measuring personality that are sometimes conducted before an interview even takes place.

But I am mainly criticizing the book for what it leaves out. What is here should be read by anyone who felt that there was something wrong with them for hating small talk and breezy interaction and valuing thought, solitude and meaningful discourse.
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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
mudcatmls, September 5, 2013 (view all comments by mudcatmls)
I have recently finished reading this great book on some very important personality types, the introvert. I am an introvert, but can, at times, be out of my box. This is a book that I highly recommend to introverts that will help you to better understand who you are as a person, how important you are, and how to not let extroverts tell you that you need to change for the better in their way of thinking. I like how the author tells us that it was introverts that changed the world in many ways. Introverts are scientist that make great discoveries, business people, artist, and great thinkers who have changed the world for the better. I like how the book helps the introvert how to make it in a very extroverted society. Kudos to the author of this great book that I whished had come out many years ago!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307352156
Subtitle:
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Author:
Cain, Susan
Publisher:
Broadway
Subject:
Personality
Subject:
Psychology : General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130129
Binding:
Trade-only material
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
7.99 x 5.19 x 1.06 in 0.68 lb

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Broadway - English 9780307352156 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

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.

"Review" by , “A superbly researched, deeply insightful, and fascinating book that will change forever the way society views introverts.”
"Review" by , "An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike."
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , Quiet legitimizes and even celebrates the 'niche' that represents half the people in the world. Mark my words, this book will be a bestseller.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Rich, intelligent...enlightening."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are."
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