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Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking [Hardcover]

Susan Cain
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (393 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 Mar 2012

Our lives are driven by a fact that most of us can't name and don't understand. It defines who our friends and lovers are, which careers we choose, and whether we blush when we're embarrassed.

That fact is whether we're an introvert or an extrovert.

The introvert/extrovert divide is the most fundamental dimension of personality. And at least a third of us are on the introverted side. Some of the world's most talented people are introverts. Without them we wouldn't have the Apple computer, the theory of relativity and Van Gogh's sunflowers.

Yet extroverts have taken over. Shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as being negative. Introverts feel reproached for being the way they are.

In Quiet, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths.

Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts - and how you see yourself.

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Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking + Thinking, Fast and Slow
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (29 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670916757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670916757
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (393 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


I can't get Quiet out of my head. It is an important book - so persuasive and timely and heartfelt it should inevitably effect change in schools and offices (Jon Ronson The Guardian )

Susan Cain's Quiet has sparked a quiet revolution. In our booming culture, hers is a still, small voice that punches above its weight. Perhaps rather than sitting back and asking people to speak up, managers and company leaders might lean forward and listen (Megan Walsh The Times )

Quiet is a very timely book, and Cain's central thesis is fresh and important. Maybe the extrovert ideal is no longer as powerful as it was; perhaps it is time we all stopped to listen to the still, small voice of calm (Daisy Goodwin The Sunday Times )

A startling, important, and readable page-turner (Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth )

Mark my words, this book will be a bestseller (Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment )

About the Author

Susan Cain is a writer who specialises in psychological non-fiction. She has a blog on PsychologyToday.com, and her New York Times article on the evolutionary benefits of shyness was the most e-mailed article in the paper when published. She previously worked in corporate law for seven years, representing clients like J.P. Morgan and General Electric, and then became a negotiations consultant with clients including Merrill Lynch and Shearman & Sterling. She graduated with honors from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She lives on the Hudson River, New York, with her husband and two sons.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By Lou79
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In many ways, this is the sort of book that should be read by anyone who manages other people, including those who are responsible for children's education, because it goes a long way towards clearing introverts of the charges that are often laid against them - that they're aloof, unfriendly, unwilling to speak up, no good at giving presentations, etc. These are all things that can disadvantage the introvert who is, for example, being interviewed for a job or asking for a promotion.

The problem is, I think the people who are most likely to read it are introverted types who just want a bit of reassurance that there isn't actually anything wrong with them. That's a shame, because even though the book does that job very well, it could have a wider application. I only found out about it myself because I kept seeing it recommended on online forums when this specific topic was actually being discussed. Maybe the introverts of the world should start a campaign to make this book compulsary reading for anyone who has to work with other people...

To answer the criticism that this is a US-centric book and not as relevant to readers in the UK: think for a minute about the last time you saw an office which had separate rooms or cubicles for workers instead of an open plan layout; think about how many times at school or university (or indeed at work) you were told to "get into groups" to work on a problem that you could have solved by yourself; think about how many job adverts you've seen for roles which have no customer contact at all and yet demand that applicants must be "outgoing" or "lively" or similarly ghastly wording. The truth is that the Extrovert Ideal has encroached on UK society as well, however temperamentally unsuited we Brits might be! Susan Cain provides some welcome balance and sanity in a world where everyone seems to be trying to shout louder than everyone else.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet call to arms! 16 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As an introvert myself, I was quite fascinated as to the insights that might be contained within this book, but ready to be disappointed with yet another thinly disguised self help book. What I got was a book that contains the most cogent argument imaginable for changing the approach to management, learning and life in general.

Extroverts are very good at energising people and carrying projects forward, but the introverts should be the ones allowed the time and space to get the projects started as they are far more likely to have workable ideas. With a number of real life examples this book doesn't lack rigour as some others do. I would recommend it for all people, extroverts and introverts alike, but I have a feeling that the managers that I have come across would regard the conclusions reached as unworkable! Read this book and come to your own conclusion, but I urge you to at least give the argument an unbiased hearing.
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164 of 173 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. Stephen J. Wooding VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Written by an introvert mainly for introverts, this is a good mix of research, reflection, anecdotes and advice that's also obviously quite a personal work for the author. It's well written, definitely thoroughly researched though at times feels like she's trying to justify the introvert's way of being rather than overtly celebrate it - perhaps just a reflection of the subtext of the book!

As someone who's clearly been a life-long introvert and also an experiences personality and psychometric profiler I was curious to see what the author's take would be on the introvert vs. extrovert debate. My impression is that she's writing from the point of view of an introvert who found herself vying for a place in an extrovert's world who then discovered more and more people like her. She refers to the 'Extrovert Ideal' a lot which seems to be a reflection of the fact she's US-based and statistically this is a more extrovert nation and culture with around 65% of the population measuring as extroverts, casting introverts into the minority. However, for the UK reader it might be a little trickier to identify so intensely with her experience as in the UK the population is split almost evenly.

My guess is that this book is more likely to be read by more introverted souls seeking to understand themselves and their power better - and I'll be recommending it to some of my friends! It would be a shame for the extroverts of the world to miss out on getting to grips with what's actually happening beneath the calmer, quieter, more placid surfaces of some of their family, friends and colleagues, and I'll be recommending that those friends then pass it on to the extroverts in their lives!
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Finally a book praising the fact that the quieter and shy members of society have as much to offer as those who have a natural ability to be heard.

Cain looks at lots of case studies of people, couples and well known individuals who through the use of subtle and modest techniques are able to influence the more extroverted members of society or a relationship. Her first case study is herself, and she looks at Rosa Parks, Ghandi and others.

She also looks at how introverts need to have time and space of their own to be able to function, and how some introverted people manage to carry off a extroverted persona at times to help them fit in.

I really enjoyed this book, don't feel quite so alone now!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!
If you're an introvert, you'll never feel the same way after reading this book. Thoroughly enjoyed it and very well researched!
Published 3 days ago by Lotus flower
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting
This book is very interesting. It can help you to understand and appreciate the value and challenges of introverted (and extroverted) personality tendencies in yourself and... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Haidji
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it cos I'm a quiet introvert
Love it cos I'm a quiet introvert. But only got half way through, too technical at that point, and she already made her point.
Published 3 days ago by sharon tang
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful to understand self, but not how to function well on the job...
An easy and entertaining read with a mixture of facts, examples, science and humour. I didn't check the validity of her references though, so I won't comment on the truthfulness of... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Kat
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
This book gives an excellent understanding of the world of introverts. As an extrovert who works with a lot of introverts this book has given me valuable insights into their way of... Read more
Published 7 days ago by fento
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant Book! Helped me learn a lot about myself.
Published 7 days ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable and well argued
I love this book. The hypothesis is backed with a wealth of evidence and anecdotes. I think there is some more nuance to the argument that the dichotomy at the heart of the book,... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Alex Quigley
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentally important book
Would been great to read this book when i was growing up, would have explained a lot of behaviour.
But i am glad i came across it, and it was a delight to read
Published 15 days ago by Mr. M. D. Linton
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book, it was difficult to read and understand, but with my friends help I accomplished eventually got my head round things. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Mark Kaye
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and inspiring...
Speaks to me directly and makes me feel a whole lot less judgmental about myself. I have always known that I'm an introvert but probably didn't realise that a lot of those things... Read more
Published 27 days ago by kjzee
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