The Power of Introverts in A World That Can't Stop Talking
Cain, Susan (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that 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 indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie's birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts. Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert." This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.
Authors: Cain, Susan
Title: Quiet
the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking
Publisher: New York :, Crown Publishers,, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: x, 333 p. ;,25 cm.
Contents: Introduction: The north and south of temperament
Part one: The extrovert ideal. The rise of the "mighty likeable fellow": how extroversion became the cultural ideal ; The myth of charismatic leadership: the culture of personality, a hundred years later ; When collaboration kills creativity: the rise of the new Groupthink and the power of working alone
Part two: Your biology, your self? Is temperament destiny?: nature, nurture, and the Orchid Hypothesis ; Beyond temperament: the role of free will (and the secret of public speaking for introverts) ; "Franklin was a politician, but Eleanor spoke out of conscience": why cool is overrated ; Why did Wall Street crash and Warren Buffett prosper?: how introverts and extroverts think (and process dopamine) differently
Part three: Do all cultures have an extrovert ideal? Soft power: Asian-Americans and the extrovert ideal
Part four: How to love, how to work. When should you act more extroverted than you really are? ; The communication gap: how to talk to members of the opposite type ; On cobblers and generals: how to cultivate quiet kids in a world that can't hear them
Conclusion: Wonderland
A note on the words Introvert and Extrovert.
ISBN: 9780307352149
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Report This Apr 08, 2014
  • mike_kon rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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.

Report This Apr 05, 2014
  • mezzotara rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I found this book extremely interesting and very validating. The style is very readable and the facts are well researched. It considers many facets of life, from childhood through career development, romantic relationships through parenting. My associations with the song, "Singing in the Rain" have been permanently altered as a result of this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is introverted or who knows someone who is--in other words, to everyone.

This book taught me a lot about society's view of introverts, as well as what introversion is and isn't. Even though it was a science/psychology book, I enjoyed it as much as any fiction I've read in a long time.

Report This Jan 09, 2014
  • jbolta rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A brilliant exploration of the introvert. Lightly peppered with fallacy, but forgivable. Worth the read.

Report This Dec 28, 2013
  • svenalainen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I ended up buying the book because I loved it so much. My husband, daughter, and I are all introverts. I cannot believe how much insight I was able to take away from this book. I highly recommend it to others. As a teacher, it as improved the way I understand some of my students. It should be on every educators list of "must-reads."

Report This Nov 20, 2013
  • ser_library rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

point made in the first section, so a quick read.

Report This Nov 13, 2013
  • Rficke rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Being an introvert myself, I could really identify with this book. It helped me better understand myself and to be made aware of the contributions that introverts give. It takes a balance of introverts and extroverts in order for society to flourish. This book made me aware that western society places too high a value on the extrovert type which is not healthy because of its one sidedness.

Report This Nov 04, 2013
  • jmikesmith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Susan Cain advocates for introverts in a society that she believes values extroversion much more highly than introversion. She says that the introversion-extroversion spectrum is one of the most widely studied phenomena in personality research and yet the findings of this research are not well enough known in the general public, one third to one half of which is introverted. She begins by explaining how it is that our society promotes extroversion as the social ideal, from group learning in elementary school to open office plans in the workplace. She traces the origins of this belief and some of the downfalls of forcing everyone to behave as if they were extroverts. The next section of the book deals with the biology of introversion. Introverts react more strongly to novelty and stimulation, and this reaction is visible in scans of their brains. This high sensitivity is observable even in infants and is at least partly an inherited, biological trait. The strength of their reactions means that introverts can be "burnt out" by too much stimulation, especially interacting with large numbers of people, and need quiet time to reflect and re-charge. There is a short section on the prevalence and preference for introversion in other cultures, notably Asian cultures. Finally, she discusses strategies for dealing with introverts in romance, work, parenting, and teaching. Overall, the book is clearly and simply written, with a mix of research reporting and personal anecdotes. I found it a bit repetitive at times, as Cain looks for new ways to make the same points in slightly different contexts. I find her argument persuasive that introverts are undervalued and our current society does not make sufficient allowances for their (our) unique needs.

Report This Oct 16, 2013
  • stewstealth rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The arguments set forth in this book are well presented. However, unless you are an extreme introvert I think that this book is oversimplified, Unfortunately ( and as the author admits ) humans and their interactions are just too complex to sum up in two labels. The book is certainly worth reading as most readers are probably some level of introvert.

Report This Sep 16, 2013
  • sherit rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

What this book does very well is validating introverts (see comments :)). The truth is that most of us are not clearly either one -- something that author admits, too. This means that the statement like "at least on-third of the people are introverts" is wrong. also, so much is said about Asian culture and its appreciation of studiousness, but look at the list of Nobel Prize (any prize, actually) winners. How many Asians who LIVE in Asia are there? I'd say, the authors conclusions are oversimplified. All in all, it a good enough book, especially for those with children. The problem is that so much time is spent for something that can be just a long magazine article.

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Report This Jul 31, 2012
  • oldhag rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

oldhag thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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