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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking Audiobook, by Susan Cain Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Susan Cain Narrator: Kathe Mazur Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2012 ISBN: 9781415959138
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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking is a book about introverts, for both introverts and extroverts. It strives to bolster pride in introverts and encourage understanding from extroverts. Introverts have made their mark in the world, even if you'll never catch them bragging about it. From artists to scientists to some of the greatest minds of the technological age, introverts have helped to shape the way the world is today. This is especially true in the arts and sciences.

Quiet attempts to sort out how extroverted personalities became the ideal in the 20th century, and how this has affected how society views introverts and how introverts see themselves. It talks of "pretend extroverts," a frequent occurrence among introverts as a reaction to feeling that their personality type is inferior. The book takes a look at both side of the human psyche through profiles of individuals, scientific studies and a look at Harvard Business school and a West Coast retreat center. Harvard plays the extrovert foil for the introverted people of the retreat center.

According to Quiet, introverts do not need to feel like they have something wrong with them, or that they need to live up to the expectations of an extroverted world. Instead, they should be proud of the roles where their personality type is needed. The book compares the societal contributions of both Bill Gates and Bill Clinton while contrasting their personality traits. It discusses how introverts such as Gates are necessary in advancing the arts and sciences.

Quiet author Susan Cain attended Princeton University then Harvard Law School. She served as a Wall Street attorney for several years and ran a consulting firm called The Negotiation Company. An introvert herself, however, Cain decided a quieter life as a writer was for her. Quiet, her first book, was published in 2012.

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 listener 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • People Top 10 Book of 2012
    O, The Oprah Magazine 10 Favorite Books of 2012
    Christian Science Monitor
    Best Books of 2012
    2012 Goodreads Choice Award, Best Nonfiction

    Fast Company #1 Business Book of 2012
    Inc Magazine
    Best Books for Entrepreneurs in 2012
    Library Journal Best Books of 2012
    Kirkus Reviews
    Best Books of 2012

    "An important book that should embolden anyone who's ever been told, 'Speak up!' People

  • Cain offers a wealth of useful advice for teachers and parents of introverts…Quiet should interest anyone who cares about how people think, work, and get along, or wonders why the guy in the next cubicle acts that way. It should be required reading for introverts (or their parents) who could use a boost to their self-esteem. Fortune.com
  • Rich, intelligent...enlightening. Wall Street Journal
  • An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike. Kirkus, Starred Review
  • Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions.  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. Publishers Weekly
  • 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. Library Journal
  • An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are. Booklist
  • In this well-written, unusually thoughtful book, Cain encourages solitude seekers to see themselves anew: not as wallflowers but as powerful forces to be reckoned with. Whole Living
  • Those who value a quiet, reflective life will feel a burden lifting from their shoulders as they read Susan Cain's eloquent and well documented paean to introversion--and will no longer feel guilty or inferior for having made the better choice! MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI, author of Flow and Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management, Claremont Graduate University
  • Superbly researched, deeply insightful, and a fascinating read, Quiet is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to understand the gifts of the introverted half of the population. GRETCHEN RUBIN, author of The Happiness Project
  • "Quiet is a book of liberation from old ideas about the value of introverts. Cain’s intelligence, respect for research, and vibrant prose put Quiet in an elite class with the best books from Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and other masters of psychological non-fiction. TERESA AMABILE, Professor, Harvard Business School, and coauthor, The Progress Principle
  • As an introvert often called upon to behave like an extrovert, I found the information in this book revealing and helpful. Drawing on neuroscientific research and many case reports, Susan Cain explains the advantages and potentials of introversion and of being quiet in a noisy world. ANDREW WEIL, author of Healthy Aging and Spontaneous Happiness
  • Susan Cain has done a superb job of sifting through decades of complex research on introversion, extroversion, and sensitivity--this book will be a boon for the many highly sensitive people who are also introverts. ELAINE ARON, author of The Highly Sensitive Person
  • “An intriguing and potentially life-altering examination of the human psyche that is sure to benefit both introverts and extroverts alike.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • "Quiet elevates the conversation about introverts in our outwardly-oriented society to new heights. I think that many introverts will discover that, even though they didn't know it, they have been waiting for this book all their lives. ADAM S. MCHUGH, author of Introverts in the Church
  • Gentle is powerful... Solitude is socially productive... These important counter-intuitive ideas are among the many reasons to take Quiet to a quiet corner and absorb its brilliant, thought-provoking message. ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, Harvard Business School professor, author of Confidence and SuperCorp
     
  • Memo to all you glad-handing, back-slapping, brainstorming masters of the universe out there: Stop networking and talking for a minute and read this book. In Quiet, Susan Cain does an eloquent and powerful job of extolling the virtues of the listeners and the thinkers--the reflective introverts of the world who appreciate that hard problems demand careful thought and who understand that it's a good idea to know what you want to say before you open your mouth. BARRY SCHWARTZ, author of Practical Wisdom and The Paradox of Choice
  • A smart, lively book about the value of silence and solitude that makes you want to shout from the rooftops. Quiet is an engaging and insightful look into the hearts and minds of those who change the world instead of tweeting about it. DANIEL GILBERT, professor of psychology, Harvard University, author of Stumbling on Happiness

  • Quiet legitimizes and even celebrates the ‘niche’ that represents half the people in the world. GUY KAWASAKI, author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
  • Susan Cain is the definer of a new and valuable paradigm. In this moving and original argument, she makes the case that we are losing immense reserves of talent and vision because of our culture's overvaluation of extroversion. A startling, important, and readable page-turner that will make quiet people see themselves in a whole new light. NAOMI WOLF, author of The Beauty Myth
  • Superb…A compelling reflection on how the Extrovert Ideal shapes our lives and why this is deeply unsettling. Based on meticulous research, it will open up a new and different conversation on how the personal is political and how we need to empower the legions of people who are disposed to be quiet, reflective, and sensitive. BRIAN R. LITTLE, PH.D., Distinguished Scholar, Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Cambridge University  
  • “Cain offers a wealth of useful advice for teachers and parents of introverts…Quiet should interest anyone who cares about how people think, work, and get along, or wonders why the guy in the next cubicle acts that way. It should be required reading for introverts (or their parents) who could use a boost to their self-esteem.”

    Fortune

  • “Cain gives excellent portraits of a number of introverts and shatters misconceptions.  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.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An important book that should embolden anyone who's ever been told, ‘Speak up!’”

    People

  • “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.”

    Library Journal

  • “An intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are.”

    Booklist

  • “A superbly researched, deeply insightful, and fascinating book that will change forever the way society views introverts.”

    Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books, Best Nonfiction 2012
  • Selected for the February 2012 Indie Next List
  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2012
  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2012
  • A Washington Post bestseller
  • Winner of the 2012 GoodReads Readers’ Choice Award
  • An iTunes Top Seller
  • A 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Science & Technology
  • An Amazon Best Books of the Year in 2012
  • A Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Nonfiction in 2012
  • A People Magazine Best Book of 2012
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times bestseller
  • An NPR bestseller

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 3.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 5 Geo | 12/8/2017

    " The book is good to re-affirm the introvert personality traits to those who already know they are one. It helps give an insight of the great thing introverts can do, yet it has a political bias which was a turnoff for me since I am not interested in knowing more than what I am already exposed to without wanting to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elaine | 2/20/2014

    " Probably one of the most important and influential books I have ever read. A thoughtful study of introversion and extroversion which really helped me to understand the introverts & extroverts in my life and how and why we react differently. The author analyses the cult of extroversism ( my neologism?) and shows the power of quietly spoken, thoughtful people. A must read for extroverts and introverts alike! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 2/15/2014

    " One of the very best things I've read in a long time! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christi | 2/6/2014

    " Insightful. Helped me understand and adapt toward the introverts who are closest to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cluessister | 1/25/2014

    " A little slow getting started and a bit repetitive at the end, but the meat in the sandwich is great. I particularly liked the examples/case studies about parents and children, couples and bosses and employees learning to work with each others conflicting styles. Challenges some long standing assumptions about how we reward, encourage, coerce extroversion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/20/2014

    " I listened to this book on my iPod and it was wonderful. I tried to read the book afterward and found it difficult to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrieg | 1/1/2014

    " Interesting ideas but Ms. Cain hammered her theme home so frequently that it eventually got boring. She was very self-referential, and I got a bit sick of that. That said, I learned a bit about introverts and, by inference, about extroverts, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irina | 12/15/2013

    " I can't recommend this book enough. I had to keep pausing and putting the book down several times because my brain needed to process this new information before absorbing more of it. I found it a true gem. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 11/23/2013

    " Fascinating read, implications for learning and teaching, parenting, conducting business, understanding colleagues and friends and even ourselves better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 10/20/2013

    " Just what I needed to read...and what many others do too. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 10/2/2013

    " Good observations overall, but there was too much political bias in the examples which was distracting and took away from the points she was trying to make. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cristian | 6/26/2013

    " loved the historical approach to a culture of too much talk about nothing, of arguing for the sake of arguing without too much thinking "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James | 12/6/2012

    " It was just OK. I found the subject matter in general to be very subjective and fairly one-sided. Overall, I don't think I would necessarily recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sergey | 11/12/2012

    " Many times while reading I caught myself thinking: "Yes! Thats me!". It was very inspiring to read about strengths of introverts. But I am learning to be extravert sometimes and compensate my weaknesses and was glad to read that I am on the right way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 6/17/2012

    " Parts were insightful, parts were not applicable. For example, extensive discussion about raising introverted kids, but if the reader is an introvert, perhaps a discussion of the whole dating/relationship thing might be helpful before jumping to child rearing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 5/13/2012

    " Well-written and well-researched. Now I finally know the physiological reason for my temperament. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Velvet | 3/6/2012

    " This book was excellent with informing people about the strengths and weaknesses of both introverts and extroverts. I like how she says shows important introverts are in this extrovert laden/pushed world we now live in. "

About the Author

Susan Cain is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School who worked as a corporate lawyer before deciding to write Quiet and then devote herself to the cause of empowering introverts. Her book has been a New York Times Bestseller for well over three years and has won numerous awards. Susan lives with her family on the banks of the Hudson River in New York.

About the Narrator

Kathe Mazur has narrated many audiobooks, winning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2014, being named a finalist for the Audie Award in 2013 and 2015, and winning several AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she can be seen as DDA Hobbs on The Closer and in the upcoming Major Crimes. She has worked extensively in film, theater, and television, including appearances on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, House, Brothers and Sisters, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, ER, Monk, and many others.