Now in Paperback, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

April 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

9780307352156Watch Susan Cain’s 2012 TED Talk at

Science and psychology is beginning to recognize how dramatically the introvert-extrovert spectrum shapes culture every bit as profoundly as gender or race. In a new paradigm-shifting book, Quiet, author Susan Cain highlights how misunderstood and and undervalued introverts often are, and gives introverts the tools to take full advantage of their personalities, while showing extroverts how they can learn from them. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with stories of real people, Quiet shows why the world will depend on the strengths of introverts in the decades to come.

Quiet has been selected for common reading at Case Western Reserve University and is now being used in several courses at these following colleges:

Bucknell University; Colby-Sawyer College; Queens University Of Charlotte; University Of North Dakota Main Campus; University Of North Florida; and Wheaton College

Here is a Message from Susan Cain:

I first thought about the powers and challenges of introversion some 26 years ago, when I began my freshman year at Princeton University.

From the minute I set foot on campus, I saw that college could be an extraordinary place for introverts and extroverts alike. A place where you were expected to spend your time reading and writing. A place where it was cool to talk about ideas. A place where there were so many people, each doing his or her own thing, that you could create your own brand of social life. If you were an introvert, you could find friends with common interests and enjoy their company one-on-one or in small groups; if you were an extrovert, the social possibilities were endless, just the way extroverts like them.

I was an introvert, and I thrived.

Not that it was always easy. At Princeton, as on many campuses, many social and academic structures seemed designed for extroverts. I wondered why the cafeteria was arranged so that the large circular tables, where the most gregarious students sat, were located near the sunny windows, while the booths for quieter chats were off in the shadowy margins of the room. I wondered whether any of my classmates longed to munch on a tuna sandwich behind a newspaper as I did, instead of being expected to participate in a social free-for-all three times a day. I learned to praise Princeton’s excellent seminars, and to participate in them, but privately I preferred lectures where you could soak up knowledge and think your own thoughts instead of having to perform them out loud.

Most of all, I wondered whether I was the only one who felt this way.

Today, after interviewing hundreds of current and former college students, I know the answer:  I wasn’t the only one. Not by a long shot.

Did you know that one third to one half of the population is introverted? That’s one out of every two or three students on campus. But most schools, workplaces, and religious institutions are organized with extroverts in mind—even though many of the achievements that have propelled society, from the theory of evolution to the invention of the PC, from van Gogh’s sunflowers to The Cat in the Hat, came from people who were quiet, cerebral, and sensitive.  Even in less obviously introverted occupations, like finance, politics, and activism, some of the greatest leaps forward were made by introverts: Eleanor Roosevelt. Al Gore. Warren Buffett. Gandhi.

This is no coincidence. There are specific physiological and psychological advantages to being an introvert and I’ll share them with your students through the lens of my book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I’ll tell your students how we can all learn from the introverts among us, including how to be more creative, think more carefully, love more gently, and organize our schools and workplaces more productively. Quiet also challenges contemporary myths of human nature, including the belief that creativity is fundamentally collaborative, and our preference for charismatic leaders.

But Quiet offers insights and advice for extroverts too, and it gives all students the license to talk about a social dynamic they’ve been living and breathing but never given voice to. Introversion/extroversion is as fundamental a difference between people as gender, yet until now we’ve lacked the vocabulary— and the cultural permission—to talk about it.

I’ve never presented the ideas in Quiet without getting people buzzing about whether they and their friends are introverts or extroverts, and what that means for their relationships, career choices, and life paths. Quiet is sure to spark animated discussions across campus, from the psychology and social-science classroom to the dorm room and dining hall.

I’ll be conducting an international speaking tour this year, and I look forward to continuing these discussions around campuses nationwide, as part of your Freshman Experience Programs. I invite you to contact me through my blog,, to discuss opportunities.

Quiet will prepare your students for careers working alongside introverted and extroverted colleagues, bosses, and employees. And it will help them to understand the people they care about most: their classmates, their family, their partners, their children—and themselves. —Susan Cain

Author Website:

Praise for Quiet:

“This an intelligent and often surprising look at what makes us who we are.”—Booklist

Quiet is an extraordinary book that will change forever the way society views introverts.  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

“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 — and lead the employers, partners and parents of quiet people to a far deeper insight.”—Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth

“Think Malcolm Gladwell for people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Mark my words, this book will be a bestseller.”—Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

“Finally someone has exposed the feet of clay of the extraversion industry. It is a wonder it took so long. 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

“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

“Susan Cain’s quest to understand introversion, a beautifully wrought journey from the lab bench to the motivational speaker’s hall, offers convincing evidence for valuing substance over style, steak over sizzle and prizing qualities that are, in America, often derided. Quiet is an introvert’s manifesto—an eloquent call for a new social order. Like the powerful introverts that fill its pages, this book is brilliant, profound, full of feeling and brimming with insights. Those who are quiet, Cain makes clear, have much to say.  Read this book and listen.”—Sheri Fink, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

“Once in a blue moon, a book comes along that gives us startling new insights. Quiet is that book: it will change the way you see yourself, other people, and the world. It’s part page-turner, part cutting-edge science. The implications for business are especially valuable: Quiet offers tips on how introverts can lead effectively, give winning speeches, avoid burnout, and choose the right roles. This charming, gracefully written, thoroughly researched book is simply masterful.”Adam M. Grant, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

SUSAN CAIN is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller QUIET: The Power of Introverts in A World That Can’t Stop Talking, which is being translated into over thirty languages and was named the #1 best book of the year by Fast Company magazine.  Cain’s book was the subject of a TIME magazine cover story, and her writing has appeared in the The New York Times; The Atlantic; The Wall Street Journal; O, The Oprah Magazine;;;, and other publications. Cain has also spoken at Microsoft, Google, the U.S. Treasury, and West Point. Her record-smashing TED talk has been viewed over 4 million times, and was named by Bill Gates as one of his all-time favorite talks.
She has appeared on national broadcast television and radio including CBS “This Morning,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” NPR’s “Diane Rehm,” and her work has been featured in The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, Wired, Fast Company, Real Simple, Fortune, Forbes, PEOPLE, Scientific American, USA Today, The Washington Post, CNN,, and many other publications.  She is an honors graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School. She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons. You can visit her at, and follow her on twitter (@susancain).

To read an excerpt, click here.

To order an examination copy, click here.

Entry filed under: Art & Art History, Asian Studies, Business & Economics, cultural studies, Education, Psychology, Science, Sociology, Uncategorized.

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