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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking   [QUIET] [Hardcover] Unknown Binding – January 31, 2012

4,123 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY). (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008NXL8IO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,079,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi, I'm Susan Cain, author of the forthcoming book, "QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" (Crown Publishers in the U.S., Viking/Penguin in the U.K., Jan. 2012).

Before I became a writer, I practiced corporate law for seven years, representing clients like Goldman Sachs and General Electric. Then I started a negotiation consultancy, training all kinds of people, from hedge fund managers to TV producers to college students negotiating their first salaries. My clients have included Merrill Lynch, Shearman & Sterling, One Hundred Women in Hedge Funds, and many more. I went to Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

From this you might guess that I'm a hardcore, wonderfully self-confident, pound-the-table kind of person, when in fact I'm just the opposite. I prefer listening to talking, reading to socializing, and cozy chats to group settings. I like to think before I speak (softly). I've never given a speech without being terrified first. And somehow I know that everything I've ever accomplished, in love and in work, I owe to these traits, annoying though they may sometimes be. I've explored this paradox in my book.

I live on the banks of the Hudson River in an 1822 captain's cottage with my beloved husband and sons. My favorite activities are reading, writing, lounging around cafés, and doing the mambo with my family. I use a lot of old-fashioned expressions. A few times a year, I try to like cooking. I'm insatiably curious about human nature. I'm a proud member of the Invisible Institute, a small authors group whose members include Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times bestselling authors, and some of the most inspiring human beings in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

718 of 738 people found the following review helpful By Pippa Lee VINE VOICE on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is hardly an impartial review. As somebody who has been called at some point or another the gamut of terms associated with introversion, from "shy" (which I don't object) to "anti-social" (which I most certainly consider unfair), I found in Susan Cain's "Quiet," the validation and appreciation many introverts have been searching for.

In "Quiet," Ms. Cain explains the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the 1920s and how it is that today we associate talkative, risk-taking, and action-oriented people with intelligence, beauty, power and success. The Extrovert Ideal is so pervasive that influences our work performance, educational policies, political choices, and even the country's financial health. But the focus of "Quiet" is on exposing the myths and misunderstandings that were born when we as a culture embraced the Extrovert Ideal and turned introversion into a malady to be avoided.

To dispel the misconception that introversion is some kind of sickness or "weirdness", Ms. Cain traces both the biological and cultural basis for introversion and extroversion and their role as evolutionary survival strategies in animals and humans. She interviews scientists who have conducted hundreds of studies to test different theories in an effort to determine how much of our temperament is a result of genetics and/or of our free will.

The best part of "Quiet" is that the insights gleaned from these studies can help introverts take advantage of their special traits and thrive on their own terms in an extroverted world. Since introversion and extroversion are preferences for a certain level of outside stimulation, Ms.
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1,490 of 1,596 people found the following review helpful By Misanthrope™ VINE VOICE on October 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First, look at this list from pg 5 in the introduction to this book:

"Without introverts, the world would be devoid of

the theory of gravity
the theory of relativity
W.B. Yeats's 'The Second Coming'
Chopin's nocturnes
Proust's 'In Search of Lost Time'
Peter Pan
Orwell's '1984' and 'Animal Farm'
The Cat in the Hat
Charlie Brown
'Schindler's List,' 'E.T.,' and 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'
Harry Potter"

Of course, that is only a tiny list of the accomplishments of introverts, and she forgot to put the Theory of Evolution in that list. Let's face it. One cannot expect people handicapped with extroversion to be able to think deeply or meditate over the serious philosophical, scientific, or supremely artistic subjects which move the deeper among us.

Okay, maybe extroversion is not a handicap, but it is important to realize that introversion is no more a handicap than extroversion. So, the extroverts deserve a retaliatory jab once in a while for treating introverts as though we are mentally and socially challenged.

This book by Susan Cain is the ultimate jab, though she is sometimes overnice toward the ones that have promoted "The Extrovert Ideal" for more than a century in the U.S. I do not believe I have read any better work dealing with the issue of personality than "Quiet."

There are some scientific points to be made in the book, with mention of studies that show how introversion or extroversion are biologically, genetically ingrained in us, though some of the studies (particularly the one mentioning literal "thin skin") strike me as somewhat irrelevant if not pseudoscientific.
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478 of 517 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved this book! It's all about introverts in a culture that celebrates extroversion. We have a personality worshiping culture and the new social media has only made it worse. Everyone on Facebook is a performer. Despite 1/3 to 1/2 of the population being introverts, everything in our culture from parenting to school to work to socializing celebrates and rewards extroversion. Some of the most creative and brilliant creators and thinkers in history were introverts. The theme of this work is that introverts have a great deal to offer the world and that we are making a mistake by not accommodating and encouraging this important personality type.

This is a compelling and very well-written book. I hope it will do very well. The author is raising very important points and has done so in a well researched and thoughtful work. I highly recommend this book and don't think you will be disappointed. Two very big thumbs up!

This book doesn't have the "look inside" feature so I offer the following TOC so you can get an idea what it contains.

Part One: The Extrovert Ideal

1. The Rise of the "Mighty Likeable Fellow": How Extroversion Became the Cultural Ideal
2. The Myth of Charismatic Leadership: The Culture of Personality, a Hundred Years Later
3. When Collaboration Kills Creativity: The Rise of the New Groupthink, and the Power of Working Alone

Part Two: Your Biology, Your Self?

4. Is Temperament Destiny?: Nature, Nurture, and the Orchid Hypothesis
5. Beyond Temperament: The Role of Free Will (and the Secret of Public Speaking for Introverts)
6. Franklin Was a Politician, But Eleanor Spoke out of Conscience: Why Cool Is Overrated
7. Why Did Wall Street Crash and Warren Buffet Prosper?
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