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Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking Hardcover – 29 Mar 2012


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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 (447 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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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4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Lou79 on 21 May 2014
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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175 of 187 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Stephen J. Wooding VINE VOICE on 26 April 2012
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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262 of 283 people found the following review helpful By Rosey Lea TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Susan Cain presented a wonderful speech to the TED conference regarding the difficulties faced by introverts in a world that prizes extroverts. Both have strengths and weaknesses, but education systems and working styles have become geared to the extrovert skill set, to the point where introversion is seen as an undesirable weakness, almost a mental illness, and must be overcome. It's acceptable to spend 4 hours in a meeting with 20 people achieving nothing, but not to sit on your own for half an hour and complete the work from start to finish.

Susan's 20 minute speech was fascinating and I eagerly awaited her book, but I have to admit I'm a little disappointed now it's here.

Part autobiography, part social commentary, the book adds very little to Susan's TED presentation. If anything, it detracts from it. The book is directly written for the American audience - American people talking about American research and life in America, so by the end of was craving something with a wider net of references.

The practical advice to introverts is interesting, but mainly because it acknowledges that constant exposure to extrovert behaviour can be damaging to someone more introverted (been there!), but could you really afford to turn down a job because the desk layout wasn't right for your introvert needs? Do you really have a paediatrician recommended `engagement skills' group that your nervous toddler can attend?

As someone who's more introvert than extrovert, the book made me feel a little hopeless, rather than a little empowered.
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