Book Review : Quiet
Quiet by Susan Cain is a well researched book about the value of introversion. Cain has been very thorough in putting together a book that covers many aspects of the introvert personality. She writes in a context where the extroverted personality is highly valued in Western society and why this is not the case in other cultures, particularly Asian culture.
This book is written in a non-academic manner that is easy to understand. In this regard, I enjoyed the inclusion of short descriptions of people’s appearance and comments at the different meeting Cain attended as she collected material for the book. This lightened the more scholarly sections of the book. It was also clear that Cain has a subtle sense of humour which also lightened the material.
About half way through the book I began to feel that introverts were so wonderful that they should rule the world! But Cain did balance this as the book progressed by pointing out the most productive working environments are where introverts and extroverts work together. The real value of the book comes from explaining how different personality types can work together to reach significant outcomes if they are prepared to adjust their work environments. Cain’s most telling point was that group work is not productive unless the individuals involved have first thought through the issues that are going to be addressed. This is true even if the group is made up of extroverts.
Cain does not just address work environments but also schools and personal relationships.
Overall an informative and interesting book.