Eric Kibler's Reviews > Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Quiet by Susan Cain
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's review
Apr 24, 12

Read in April, 2012

Every now and then you read one of those books that says things that are so true and elementary that you wonder why they haven't been said before (at least in such a popular, best-selling platform). This is one of those books.

I mean, of course 80% of the great thinkers in history have been introverts. Why wouldn't that be? You have to spend a lot of time in solitude to get those great thoughts down on paper. And yet, we live in a world where we are encouraged to be more outgoing and social, and not to honor the impulse that leads to solitude and contemplation. As a result, we suffer a lack of quality leadership, and a skewed education system.

This is a book that people who read should read. It's all about you! You who forgo social activity to expose yourselves to the ideas of strangers. There is nothing wrong with you, despite what society may tell you. We need more people like you to be more like people like you. Stop trying to emulate "them". The extroverts. Except in cases where it serves your ends to do so.

This is a very liberating book.

The only reason I docked it the full five stars is the last section, which suggests what we should do about the problem of societal tampering with our introvert impulses. The answers given are a bit too facile, and maybe need to be explored and studied a bit more. My wife, a Montessori educator, spoke to Susan Cain about that hundred-year-old method of education, which follows the child's own natural inclinations and curiosities, instilling a lifelong love of learning. Maria Montessori, through observation alone, reached the same conclusion as the researchers cited by Cain, and invented a classroom where children, by their own choice, could work together or separately, exercising the methods more appropriate to the child's own learning style or personality type.
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