Susan Cain's Quiet is a work of non-fiction that takes a look at what it means to be an introvert, especially in today's society that is obsessed with the Cult of Personality and that only has ears for those with the loudest voices and the biggest personalities. As the book points out, all the contemporary structures, from open-plan offices to schools focusing on groupwork, lean towards extroverts being the norm and the model to aspire to. During her research for the book, Susan Cain visited a variety of seminars and communities, promising to teach or guide you to find your voice or become a better salesperson, and they all aim to force everyone into the extrovert mould.
But is it always better to be an extrovert? One of the most interesting aspects for me was the look at important historical figures who had more impact because they were introverts. Rosa Parks, for example, would have touched the world a lot less if she'd been a bolshy loudmouth always out for a fight but, because she was such a quiet, unassuming, retiring woman, her protest was the catalyst that changed the course of history.
Although I found some of it entertaining and fascinating, I did feel that the book frequently got bogged down in scientific psycho-babble and rather heavy-going analysis of what it means, in terms of nature and nurture, to be an introvert, an extrovert or the lesser-known ambivert. I must admit, I did skim over some sections when they got too technical. As a parent and teacher but also for myself, it gave me a lot of food for thought though.
star rating : 3.5/5
RRP : £8.99
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (3 Jan 2013)
- Language: Unknown
- ISBN-10: 0141029196
- ISBN-13: 978-0141029191
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm
Disclosure : I received a copy of the book from BritMums Book Club in order to write an honest review. Find out what everyone else thought here.
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