Quiet : the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking / Susan Cain.

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  • Additional Information
    • Edition: 1st ed.
    • Abstract: Summary: Demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in modern culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples of how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations.
    • Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. [277]-323) and index.
    • ISBN: 9780307352149 : HRD
      0307352145 : HRD
    • LCCN: 2010053204
    • Accession Number: fay.345732


Booklist Reviews 2011 December #1

It's hard to believe, in this world of social media and reality TV, that one-third to one-half of Americans are introverts. Yet being an introvert has become a social stigma. The rise of what the author dubs the Extrovert Ideal (in which the ideal self is gregarious, alpha, and comfortable in the spotlight) began with Dale Carnegie and his wildly popular self-help books. Simultaneously, we saw the rise of the movie star and of personality-driven ads and the appearance of the inferiority complex, developed by psychologist Alfred Adler. Today, pitchmen like Tony Robbins sell the idea of extroversion as the key to greatness. But—and this is key to the author's thesis—personal space and privacy are absolutely vital to creativity and invention, as is freedom from peer pressure. Cain also explores the fundamental differences in psychology and physiology between extroverts and introverts, showing how being an introvert or an extrovert is really a biological imperative. No slick self-help book, this is an intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2012 January #1

The introvert/extrovert dichotomy is easily stereotyped in psychological literature: extroverts are buoyant and loud, introverts are shy and nerdy. Here, former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant Cain gives a more nuanced portrait of introversion. Introverts are by nature more pensive, quiet, and solitary, but they can also act extroverted for the pursuit of their passions. Cain describes and explicates the introvert personality by citing much research (at times so much that readers may be confused about what she is explaining) and going undercover, at one point immersing herself at a Harvard Business School student center and, in a very amusing chapter, at a Tony Robbins seminar, among other case studies. Cain's conclusion is that the introversion or extroversion personality trait is not as simple as an on/off switch but a much more complex expression of a personality. VERDICT 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. Recommended to all readers.—Maryse Breton, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Montreal

[Page 120]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

LJ Reviews Newsletter

This book makes me want to go on an unintrovert-like rant. Why is the world set up for loud know-it-alls? Why is brash all-roundedness emphasized in college when singular focus serves so well in many jobs and in relationships? Well, one reason is that even introverts don't value introverted­ness enough, and everyone misunderstands what it is. Relating personal experience and backing it up with case studies and published research, Cain explains how the quietly confident can take over the world or at least become more content. (LJ 1/12)—Henrietta Thornton-Verma (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2011 October #5

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. (Jan.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

Very inspiring!

This book was so insightful and life giving for an introvert!!

Ms. Cain expounds on a theory that she’s talked about in seminars around the globe. Quietude isn’t necessarily just for those who are shy, nervous in crowds or tense about speaking in front of audiences. She makes a case that there is no such thing as people who are entirely introverted or extroverted. Most of us lie somewhere between the two extremes. The book is absorbing and makes its case point by point. At times, readers will find themselves nodding as they identify with the various people Ms. Cain meets and talks to in her search for understanding about why some people are full of insouciance when engaged in a round of giddy social whirls and yet happiest when they are home alone with a book and a soothing cup of tea. What makes people crave the limelight and others seek the shadows? Why is America so obsessed with people who are confident, loud speakers even when those people are usually the ones with the worst ideas? How can parents ease off children who don’t speak up in class while calmly assuring them that there’s nothing wrong with being silent when other children are talking a mile a minute? How can teachers coax the mute children to participate and not alienate them entirely from class participation? Ms. Cain not only identifies potential problems between extroverts and introverts; she puts out sound ideas for helping both sides to communicate without falling into frustrating patterns of offensive rebukes and defensive retreats. This is truly the book the softly spoken people have been waiting for and one that many avid bibliophiles will (soundlessly) cheer.

The book itself is interesting and nicely written, more like fiction. However, as already mentioned here in the comments, I believe human beings are to complex to define them solely as being introvert or extrovert. The book though is interesting and informative.

One of my FAVORITE books of all time. As an introvert myself, I found it extremely validating and encouraging. (She is also great at responding to feedback from her fans so maybe I'm a liiiiitle biased...just a little) ;)

interesting read

An interesting read- it was a lot of research analysis at times, but loved the insight into the introvert world.

Hyvää itsetutkiskelua

Käsittelee aihetta hyvin amerikkalaisesta näkökulmasta (esimerkit ja haastattelut), mutta esittelee monia tutkimuksia perusteellisesti.Ei mikään mestariteos, mutta suosittelisin introverteille.

Good for both introverts and extroverts

An important read for both introverts and extroverts. Knowledge about how both function best is well-described. Cain did much research in preparation for this book. My book group will read this next year.

So Good

This book is a must read for introverts and those who live with them. It will help you to understand those of us who don''t like parties or large groups.


I don’t believe anyone is just an introvert or just an extrovert or not at least by Susan Cain’s definitions of the words. This book holds some interesting studies, but is should not be used a guide book. Susan makes some good points and does offer some good advice but her book seems most like a platform for her rants of struggling in a corporate world. I do think that we need all different personalities and ways of doing business in order to survive and thrive in today’s America. Everyone has value and something to offer. We need to learn to speak up for ourselves and help others who do not think, speak, lead, or act the same as ourselves. We cannot survive as an island of one.

Great Book and Content

I liked the stories and background that Susan gives about Eleanor Roosevelt and others to illustrate the particular attributes of introverts. There is lots of information about personality types and how we work and play together.