Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain
Narrator: Kathe Mazur
Publication Year: 2012
Pages: 352 (audio length: 10 hours 39 minutes)
Source: Audiobook version purchased from Audible.com
From the cover:
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts — Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak — that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also 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. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.
I really enjoyed the subject matter of this book, and was pleasantly surprised that the author managed to avoid so many of the stereotypes of introverted people while writing it.
Cain not only described common traits of introverts, but explained the strengths of introversion and the many advantages it can have in different types of careers and situations. Most importantly for me personally, she gave examples of effective strategies that introverts use in their lives to cope with situations that are necessary but uncomfortable for introverts. It was really empowering to hear someone “talking” about the trials of introversion as if they are simply characteristics and not necessarily problems to be overcome. Quiet never implies that being an introvert is a bad thing, simply that it is something that needs to be understood to be fully appreciated.
I think that this book can be helpful to so many people – not just to introverts themselves, but to the extroverts around them, who might be their partners, bosses, or friends. I would absolutely recommend Quiet as important reading for pretty much anyone interested in how human psychology affects our daily lives, and who might want to better understand how the personalities our society values have changed over the years.