Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
By Susan Cain
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.
About Susan Cain
Before I became a writer, I practiced corporate law for seven years, representing clients like JP Morgan and General Electric, and then worked as a negotiations consultant, 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 all 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, though I've given many. 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 first book, "QUIET: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can't Stop Talking," due out from Crown Publishers in the U.S., and Viking/Penguin in the U.K., in January 2012.
I live on the banks of the Hudson River in an 1822 captain's cottage with my beloved husband, sons, and magnolia trees. 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.